History Of NAFDAC: What You Absolutely Must Know

History of NAFDAC
History of NAFDAC

What is the history of NAFDAC? Why and How did this organization come about? How does NAFDAC carry out its duties? This is exactly what this post is all about. Read on to find out more.


In this post, we’re going to be delving into the history of NAFDAC as well as a couple of things surrounding it.


What is NAFDAC?

What’s the meaning of NAFDAC?
NAFDAC simply means National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control.

Let’s look at the definition one by one.

First of all, it is “National”, meaning the scope of its activities encompasses the whole of Nigeria, the entire country.

Then it’s an Agency. Let us try and understand what an agency means. The Collins Dictionary defines “Agency” as “a government organisation responsible for a certain area of administration”.
Okay, so. It means that this agency, NAFDAC, exists to take care of a particular area; it does a particular set of duties or functions.

So in this case, let’s look at NAFDAC’s area of function or interest.

Just like the name implies, they are into overseeing the food and drug market in Nigeria, among other things. We will look at this in much detail later on as we proceed.

When Was NAFDAC Established?

Many young people in Nigeria today have grown up hearing “NAFDAC, NAFDAC, NAFDAC; NAFDAC this; NAFDAC that”. What do you know about the history of NAFDAC and when it was established?

NAFDAC was actually established in 1993 by a military decree.

That was when Nigeria was still under the military rule. Under the military rule, things were done or established by decrees.

So, the decree which gave birth to NAFDAC was Decree Number 15 of 1993. At that time, the military ruler of Nigeria was Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida

Eventually came Decree Number 19 of 1999. This was during the time of Abdulsalami Abubakar as Nigeria’s military president, before he handed over to a democratically elected Olusegun Obasanjo.

The NAFDAC laws were finally amended under democracy and it is now known as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control Act. That was in 2004.

Note that the agency was already functioning as at October 1992. The Decree of 1993 just gave legal backing to it.

Why Was NAFDAC Established?

From the NAFDAC Act of 2004, NAFDAC was set up to regulate and control the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, packaged water, chemicals and detergents. These are collectively known as regulated products.

So you see, the name just talks of food and drink, but the functions go beyond just food and drugs.

Like we said earlier, it also includes things surrounding or related to them—cosmetics, some of these beauty products, medical devices, medical equipment, packaged water, chemicals and even detergents.

So see, that is a very big work that has been given to NAFDAC to perform.


NAFDAC is headed by a Director-General, also known as DG, who happens to be the overall head responsible for the day-to-day running of activities of the Agency.

Read this post for a full list of NAFDAC DGs from inception till date.

The First Director-General of NAFDAC was Professor Gabriel Osuide

The Director General (DG) of NAFDAC as at 2nd November 2022 was Professor Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye. However, her 5-year tenure elapsed on that day

Professor Adeyeye has now been replaced by Dr. Monica Eimunjeze, who is now in Acting capacity.

Apart from the Director General, it is very important to note that NAFDAC also has a Governing Council.

Back in December 1992, NAFDAC’s first Governing Council was formed. This Council was headed by Tanimu Saulawa. He did a lot of work from the 1992 and even earlier, to make sure that NAFDAC had a legal backing to its establishment and operations in Nigeria.

What Is The Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles of NAFDAC?

NAFDAC’s Vision

The vision of this Agency is clearly stated as this: To be a world class regulator that ensures availability of quality and safe food, drugs and other regulated products.

The Mission of NAFDAC

The Mission of NAFDAC is: To protect and promote the public health by instituting an effective and efficient regulatory system that ensures only the right quality food, drugs and other regulated products are manufactured, exported, imported, advertised, distributed, sold and used.

The Core Values of NAFDAC

You can remember the core values of NAFDAC using the acronym PRIDE

I—Integrity (Transparency and Good Governance)
D—Dedication and Commitment
These are the core values on which NAFDAC stands. Such a high value system is to be expected for such an organization considering the role they have to play. You don’t expect them to be joking around.


In NAFDAC, you have 10 units. They are also called “Programs”. These are directly under the Director General’s office. A list of these units are as follows:

1) Public Affairs

2) NAFDAC Training and Research Institutes

3) Information and Communication Technology

4) Procurement

5) Internal Audit

6) One Stop Investment Centre (OSIC)

7) Reforms

8) Quality Management System (QMS)

9) WTO Global Benchmarking Program

10) Health Safety and Environment (HSE)Unit


Apart from the units under the Director General’s office, NAFDAC also has what we call Directorates. These Directorates are in charge of the core functions and duties of the Agency.
So we’re going to list these Directorates.
The 18 Directorates of NAFDAC include

1) Drug Registration and Regulatory Affairs (DR & RA) Directorate

2) Food Registration and Regulatory Affairs (FR & RA)

3) Drug Evaluation and Research (DER)

4) Narcotics and Controlled Substances (NCS) Directorate

5) Chemical Evaluation and Research (CER) Directorate

6) Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FSAN) Directorate

7) Veterinary Medicines and Allied Products (VMAP)

8) Ports Inspection Directorate (PID)

9) Laboratory Services (Food, Oshodi)

10) Laboratory Services (Drug and Biologics, Yaba)

11) Laboratory Services (Agulu) Directorate

12) Laboratory Services (Kaduna) Directorate

13) Investigation and Enforcement (I&E) Directorate

14) Pharmacovigilance and Post Market Safety Surveillance (PV/PMS) Directorate

15) Planning, Research and Statistics (PR & S) Directorate

16) Finance and Accounts (F & A) Directorate

17) Administration and Human Resources Management (A & HRM) Directorate

18) Legal Services Directorate

NAFDAC functions are empowered by the law which set up the Agency. The functions of NAFDAC are:


NAFDAC core values are:
1) To ensure availability of efficacious and good quality NAFDAC regulated products

2) To maintain reference laboratories of international standards

3) To promote an effective and efficient, well-motivated and disciplined workforce

What Are The Functions of NAFDAC?

NAFDAC functions include:

1) Regulate and control the importation, exportation, manufacture, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water, chemicals and detergents (regulated products)

2) Conduct appropriate tests and ensure compliance with standard specifications designated and approved by the Council for effective control of quality of regulated products and their raw materials as well as their production processes in factories and other establishments

3) Undertake appropriate investigation into the production premises and raw materials for regulated products and establish relevant quality assurance systems including certification of the production site and of the regulated products

4) Undertake inspection of imported regulated products and establish relevant quality assurance systems including certification of the production site

5) Compile standard specifications, regulations and guidelines for the production, importation, exportation, sales, distribution and registration of regulated products

6) Undertake the registration of foods, drugs, chemicals, medical devices, bottled water, chemicals and detergents

7) Control the exportation and issue quality certification of products intended for export

8) Establish and maintain relevant laboratories or other institutions in strategic areas of Nigeria as may be necessary for the performance of its functions

9) Pronounce on the quality and safety of products after appropriate analysis

10) Take measures to ensure that the use of Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are limited to only medical and scientific purposes

11) Grant authorization for the import and export of narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances as well as other controlled substances

12) Collaborate with National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in the bid to eradicate drug abuse in Nigeria

13) Advise Government, the private sector and other interested bodies regarding the quality, safety and regulatory provisions on regulated products

14) Issue guidelines, grant approvals and monitor the advertisement of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water, chemicals and detergents

15) Compile and publish relevant data resulting from the performance of the functions of the Agency or from other sources

16) Sponsor such national and international conferences as may be considered appropriate

17) Liaise with relevant establishments within and outside Nigeria in pursuance of its functions

18) Carry out such activities as are necessary or expedient for the performance of its functions


Like we stated earlier, there is a Governing Council for NAFDAC that oversees the activities of this Agency.

This Council is made up of representatives from the Federal Government, the Ministry of Health and from concerned stakeholders.

They are as follows:

1) Council Chairman—This one is appointed by the Federal Government of Nigeria. The current NAFDAC Governing Council Chairman is Yusuf Suleiman

2) Alhaji Tukur S. Fada Tambuwal—Member; appointed by the Federal Government

3) Dr. Mufutau Bolaji Yahaya—Member; appointed by the Federal Government

4) Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health—Member

5) Director-General, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD)—Member

6) Director General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON)

7) Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)

8) Chairman, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria

9) Chairman, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN)

10) Representative, Food and Beverage Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (FBG-MAN)

11) Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control

Why was NAFDAC Established?

Without proper regulation, people are bound to bring in a lot of junk products into the Nigerian market all in the name of food and drug products.

This will cause a lot of damage to the health of the residents of Nigeria who would ultimately buy and consume these products.

If there is no regulation guiding these products, we will only be hampering our health These are either things they So there’s no regulation of such means would only be hampering our health, you know, health of everybody in the country.


In order to function well, an Agency or organization must have an address or office from which it coordinates the discharge of its duties. This is true of NAFDAC. This Agency has offices across Nigeria through which it operates.

Corporate Headquarters

NAFDAC Corporate Headquarters is located at Plot 2032, Olusegun Obasanjo Way, Zone 7, Wuse-Abuja

Lagos Operation Office

NAFDAC Lagos Operation office can be found at Plot 1, Industrial Estate, Lagos- Oshodi Apapa Express Way, Isolo, Lagos, Nigeria

Zonal Offices

Nigeria is officially divided into 6 geopolitical zones. So, NAFDAC has a zonal office in each geopolitical zone which oversees activities of states within the zone.

The 5 zonal offices of NAFDAC are as follows:

1) North- Central Zonal Office: This is located at Federal Secretariat,
Tudun Wada, 6th Floor, Room 614, Jos, Plateau State

2) North-East Zonal Office: NAFDAC’s North-East zonal office can be found at No 3, Biu Road, Maiduguri, Borno State

3) North-West Zonal Office: The North-West Zonal office of NAFDAC is at Narayi High Cost, Kaduna.

4) South-East Zonal Office: NAFDAC’s South East zonal office can be found at the Federal Secretariat Rooms 122&123, Independence Layout, Enugu

5) South-South Zonal Office: NAFDAC’s South South Zonal office is at the Federal Secretariat, Aba Road, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.


“No man is an island”, goes a saying. The same is true for organizations too. In order to effectively carry out their duties, organizations need to work with individuals, groups and other organizations too. NAFDAC is no exception to this.

Some of the Federal Organizations NAFDAC works with include:

1) Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON)

2) National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)

3) Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)

4) Nigeria Customs Services (NCS

5) Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC)

6) Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)


NAFDAC was set up to regulate food, drugs and cosmetics production, sale and marketing in Nigeria. This is a very big responsibility for which a lot of human and material resources are needed.

What is your opinion? Do you think NAFDAC is performing its duties well?


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