What Are The Functions of NAFDAC? (17 NAFDAC Functions Explained)

What are the functions of nafdac
What are the functions of nafdac

After reading this blog post, you should be able to answer the question, “What are the functions of NAFDAC”? We are going to look at these functions, one after the other.



NAFDAC stands for National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control. It is the primary body that regulates the food, drugs, cosmetics and other related products in Nigeria. However, do you really know the functions of this agency?

Sit back and we will put you through the functions of NAFDAC so that you will have the right knowledge.

The functions of NAFDAC as an agency are spelt out in the NAFDAC Act. This is the legal backing that gives the agency the right to function.


Regulate And Control The Importation, Exportation, Manufacture, Advertisements, Distribution, Sale And Use Of Food, Drugs, Cosmetics, Medical Devices, Bottled Water, Chemicals And Detergent (Regulated Products).

The above are known as regulated products and NAFDAC has oversight functions over them. So, NAFDAC sees to it that how people import these commodities and export the ones that are produced locally conform to laid down standards.

They also regulate the manufacture, advertisement and distribution of these products in a way that has the best effect on Nigerians.

There is nobody in Nigeria that can deal in these regulated products on his own without the approval of NAFDAC. He has to follow the laid down rules, requirements and standards. These requirements are set by NAFDAC.

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.

So in order to deal in any of these above mentioned regulated products, standards need to be maintained. NAFDAC oversees everything, starting from how the raw materials for these products are sourced and then how they are worked upon in the factories or in different places of processing and eventually to how the final product comes about.

NAFDAC makes sure that everybody that is dealing with these regulated products comply with the minimum accepted standards and specifications. If not, their products will not be allowed in the Nigerian market.

Undertake Appropriate Investigation Into The Production Premises And Raw Materials For Regulated Products And Establish Relevant Quality Assurance Systems, Including Certification Of Production Sites And Of The Regulated Products.

NAFDAC goes a step further by inspecting the places, buildings, surroundings and environments where these raw materials are processed and turned into finished products in order to ensure that the environment is safe and conducive so that the final products are safe and healthy for human consumption.

Undertake Inspection Of Imported Regulated Products And Establish Relevant Quality Assurance Systems, Including Certification Of The Production Sites.

NAFDAC rules apply, not just to locally produced items but also also to imported products. So it’s not just every product that comes into Nigeria that people will start rushing to use it because it came from ‘abroad’.

Some people cut corners too when bringing in products from other countries to Nigeria. They bring in substandard products or even outright fake products.

So, NAFDAC sits here and police what comes in and they make sure that these products that are coming in from other countries meet the minimum standard requirements. If not, they will not be allowed in.

Compile Standards, Specifications, Regulations And Guidelines For The Production, Importation, Exportation, Sales, Distribution And Registration Of Regulated Products.

Who even sets the standards? The answer is NAFDAC?

So they look at things, they compile records, they look around and they set standards that every product should go through. They also set out some regulations and guidelines for production and covering the production of goods within Nigeria, the importation and also the exportation of products.

NAFDAC also looks into the sale, distribution and even the registration of these regulated products. They set the guidelines for how these products can be registered, how they can be sold or distributed within Nigeria as well as the ones to be exported.

They make sure that these regulations are adhered to or complied with.

Undertake The Registration Of Foods, Drugs, Chemicals, Medical Devices, Bottled Water, Chemicals And Detergents.

Like we said earlier, these are known as regulated products. So if anybody wants to deal in these, it is actually NAFDAC that undertakes the registration; the person cannot just bring in these things and start selling to the public. We don’t know who you are or where these things are coming from. We cannot vouch for the quality.

So, NAFDAC acts on behalf of the people. The agency inspects and they can tell the public, ‘Okay; so according to the the requirements we put in place, this product has met the standard and is safe for use or consumption’.

After NAFDAC okays a product, registers it and assigns it a registration number (NAFDAC Number), the public can have some level of confidence in this product. However, for those that are not registered, they cannot be sold to the public.

Control The Exportation And Issue Quality Certification Of Products Intended For Exports.

Some food and related products can also be exported from Nigeria to other countries, but they don’t just get exported like that.

They have to pass through NAFDAC which ensures that these products meet the quality required, so that they don’t get rejected when they get to the international community or even cause problems which can negatively affect lives and ultimately give Nigeria a bad name.

Establish And Maintain Relevant Laboratories Or Other Institutions In Strategic Areas Of Nigeria As May Be Necessary For The Performance Of Its Functions.

NAFDAC has a number of laboratories across Nigeria. In these laboratories, they test products and conduct quality control for these products before they are approved and subsequently registered.

They also test products that have already been registered from time to time.

Pronounce On The Quality And Safety Of Products After Appropriate Analysis.

When a company for instance, applies to have a product registered with NAFDAC, they make samples of the product available to the agency. NAFDAC, in turn, takes these samples to their laboratories where they are analyzed.

After passing through designated tests at their laboratory, if the product scales through, they can move over to the next stage of the registration process.

Take Measures To Ensure The Use Of Narcotic Drugs And Psychotropic Substances Are Limited To Only Medical And Scientific Purposes.

These substances can negatively affect the brain or the mind when not properly used. In Nigeria, they are reserved for medical use or for scientific studies.

Grant Authorization For The Import And Export Of Narcotics, Drugs And Psychotropic Substances As Well As Other Controlled Substances.

Due to the sensitive nature of these substances, its movement within and outside Nigeria is regulated by NAFDAC. This is to ensure that it is not used for other activities apart from for medical and scientific purposes.

Collaborates With National Drug Law Enforcement Agency In A Bid To Eradicate Drug Abuse In Nigeria.

Drug abuse is a very serious problem in Nigeria. NAFDAC is not the only agency whose activities help in combating drug abuse in Nigeria.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is an agency that has been set up by the government specifically to deal with drugs and drug-related issues. NAFDAC and NDLEA work together in order to reduce and eliminate drug abuse in Nigeria.

Advise Government, The Private Sector And Other Interested Bodies Regarding The Quality, Safety And Regulatory Provisions Are Regulated Products.

NAFDAC is like an adviser to the government, individuals, private sector or other interested agencies when it comes to these products under its jurisdiction. The agency keeps them up to date with the quality and the safety requirements of these products.

So, NAFDAC updates the government as well as stakeholders in this area so that they will know the latest trends and the latest quality assurance guidelines for these products, thus ensuring we have only safe or good products within the system.

Issue Guidelines, Grant Approvals And Monitor The Advertisement Of Food, Drugs, Cosmetics, Medical Devices, Bottled Water, Chemicals And Detergents.

NAFDAC has published guidelines for bottled water manufacturing as well as other products

Compile And Publish Relevant Data Resulting From The Performance Of The Functions Of The Agency Or From Other Sources.

From time to time, NAFDAC evaluates its activities and compiles relevant data. By this, they know what is actually going on and if their efforts are yielding the expected results or not.

They look at what they have achieved as an agency, the current situation and areas of need or challenges. They publish some of these analysis or information for the general public who also need to know the situation per time.

Sponsors Such National And International Conferences As May Be Considered Appropriate.

NAFDAC sponsors some national conferences and even international events in the areas of its jurisdiction.

Liaise With Relevant Establishments Within And Outside Nigeria In Pursuance Of Its Functions.

NAFDAC is not just a local champion or an agency that stands aloof. It is not a one-man squad.

NAFDAC partners and collaborates with different agencies both within and outside Nigeria.

Some of the organisations NAFDAC partners with within Nigeria are:

1) Standards Organisation of Nigeria(SON)

2) National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)

3)Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)

4) Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)

5) Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC)

6) Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)

All these are geared towards ensuring that they fulfil their functions creditably.


NAFDAC functions are basically carried out through the various Departments or Directorates of the agency.


We have seen the enormous functions that NAFDAC has to perform. This is to ensure that the food, drugs, water and other products Nigerians consume or make use of are beneficial to their health.

You may wish to read about NAFDAC history here as well as the Directors General of NAFDAC

Do you think the agency is living up to its responsibilities?


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