Nigeria’s leading development finance institution, the Bank of Industry (BoI) on Tuesday provided an Agilent High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) instrument to enable regulators improve on turn-around time for registration and issuing of permits for food, drinks, drugs and cosmetic products.
The state-of-the-art HPLC instrument was donated by BoI to the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and was installed in NAFDAC’s Central Drug Control Laboratory (CDCL), Yaba – Lagos.
As part of BoI’s rapid industrialisation efforts, it provides entrepreneurs with funding to enhance value addition and diversification of the economy and this includes facility to obtain permits for the manufacture of new innovative products.
Recently the Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NAFDAC to assist in mitigating the challenges that delay issuance of permits to ready entrepreneurs.
According to the Acting Managing Director of BoI, Mr Waheed Olagunju, the essence of the collaboration is not only to assist manufacturers promptly obtain NAFDAC permit numbers for new products, but also to enable local manufacturers bid for distribution and local production of international brands.
He stated that with this machine, over 200 samples of different products can be tested within 24 hours as against five which was the traditional practice.
He said; “We have been supporting members of the Pharmaceutical Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMAN). This is the beginning of our long time collaboration with NAFDAC. If you don’t have NAFDAC number, you can’t sell your product and unless we are sure you will sell your product we will not approve loans for you.”
In her address, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs Binta Bello, congratulating the two organisations for the feat which she noted was in the right direction, stated that effective collaboration, partnership and cooperation across sectors are key tools in effective delivery of mandates on public health.
“A key instrument used in the laboratory for identification of pharmaceutical products is the HPLC machine. This equipment amongst other devices is very expensive and given the limited subventions from the federal government cannot be purchased amidst other teeming demands.
“This commissioning today will be a precursor for further collaboration between the health sector and other sectors of the economy and it will thus further reposition the health sector in areas of infrastructural support, capacity building and delivery of quality health services in the country,” she said.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Acting DG of NAFDAC, Mrs Yetunde Oni expressed gratitude to the Bank of Industry for the donation of the latest model of 1260 series Agilent HPLC instrument; noting that the instrument will enhance the analysis capacity of the organisation to detect and pronounce on substandard and falsified medical products as well as unwholesome foods in the agencies efforts to protect public health.
“This is the beginning of greater ties between both organisations to promote ease of doing business in Nigeria, thereby supporting the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari for a better Nigeria,” she said.
She disclosed that the laboratory project was highly capital intensive and that it would require the support of all stakeholders to sustain the laboratory’s functionality.
“The instrument procured with the support of BoI will enable our laboratory analysts work with user-friendly, high-output sensitive instrument with multiple detectors that can handle various product types, thus improving timelines of analysis of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, veterinary and other products,” she said.
The NAFDAC Ag. DG added that the HPLC instrument among other things will reduce charges by 20 per cent.
“The error margin would drop to less than five per cent. The machine is rugged and user friendly. Moreover, we have trained engineers that can repair and overhaul whenever the need arises. The equipment has the life span of over 10 years,” she said.
She stated that four out of its seven laboratories across the country have been internationally certified, saying that the certification would help to ensure that analysis test are timely, reliable, reproducible and accurate.