The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control says over 70 percent of food exports from Nigeria are rejected abroad with huge financial losses to the exporters and the country at large.
NAFDAC Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said this weekend during the official commissioning of the agency’s new office complex for the Murtala Muhammed International Airport/NAHCO, Lagos.
She said the incidence of rejection of food exports from Nigeria in some European countries and the United States might soon end if collaboration between NAFDAC and other government agencies at the ports was strengthened.
She said the deplorable state of export trade facilitation for regulated products leaving the country had continued to be a serious cause for concern for the agency.
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She, however, said NAFDAC was responding to the challenge by initiating a collaborative adventure with the government agencies at the ports towards ensuring that goods are of requisite quality and meet the regulatory requirements of the importing countries and destinations before they are packaged and hauled to the ports for shipment.
According to her, this raises the need for a more enhanced regulation of export – packaging, pre-shipment testing and certification to provide some quality assurance and to minimize rejects.
She called on all stakeholders in the export trade to see it as a call to duty and collaborate with NAFDAC for the sake of the country and collective future.
She commended the Nigeria Customs Service, the police and the Department of State Services for the symbiotic relationship among their managements and the NAFDAC.
She said: “We work with Interpol and FBI because of the few stakeholders that are unscrupulous. NAFDAC collaborates with Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services to ensure that due diligence is done because over 70 per cent of the products that leave our ports get rejected. Considering the money spent on getting those products out of the country, it is a double loss for both the exporter and the country”.