The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has raised concern over the frequent rejection of food and agricultural commodities from Nigeria by the United States of America and the European Union (EU) member countries on account of poor quality.
The Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Moji Adeyeye, raised the concern while speaking on Quality and Safety of Export Food Trade at a virtual technical roundtable meeting with other federal government agencies including Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development MARD and many others, yesterday.
She, therefore, called on all the regulatory agencies at the port saddled with the responsibility of ensuring high quality of imports and exports to find urgent and lasting solutions to Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) Border Rejection Notifications from the European Commission on products originating from Nigeria.
In a statement by NAFDAC Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, in Abuja on Sunday, Prof Adeyeye, lamented that the volume of food and agricultural commodities from Nigeria that is currently facing challenges at entry points in some countries in Europe and the United States of America where they have been repeatedly rejected and which has become a great issue of concern.
She revealed that Nigeria’s products meant for export market are faced with presence of contaminants such as pesticide residues, notoriously dichlorvos and other impurities, exceeding maximum permitted level and somewith inadequate packaging and labeling which had caused a lot of products’ rejections in the global market.
According to her the international market is competitive in nature and only welcomes products of high quality with relevant certifications and quality packaging that is environmentally friendly, to trade globally, stressing that the problem of quality, standard, certification, and appropriate packaging for made-in-Nigeria products destined for export has been an issue in the international market and there is need to address the issue of rejections.
The NAFDAC boss disclosed that the Agency has over the years intervened to assist Nigerian exporters to meet with international regulations thereby creating employment and earning foreign exchange for Nigeria.
Through this intervention by NAFDAC, she added that it was agreed that these products be subjected to 100% pre-export testing and issuance of Health Certificate to products with satisfactory limits before European Union further verify at their border control points.
‘’We need to close gaps and work together to prevent regulatory gaps being exploited by the unscrupulous traders and their collaborators.
“There must be a convergence for all regulatory activities especially at the Ports of Exit as a starting point before we begin cleaning up and capacitating the honest operators and traders within the country,” she said.