Worried about the incessant rejection of Nigerian foods exported abroad, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has put in place measures to address the problem.
NAFDAC said it has received a lot of negative feedback in international markets regarding the poor quality of food products exported from Nigeria. This has resulted in the rejection of many food items.
Mojisola Adeyeye, director-general of NAFDAC, , highlighted that non-compliance with advisory guidelines established by the agency and lack of compliance with minimal sanitary measures are some of the reasons why Nigerian food products are rejected in the United Kingdom.
Adeyeye also disclosed that 68 different Nigerian food items were rejected in the United Kingdom and European Union countries this year. However, this number may be higher due to poor reporting systems. She lamented that almost all exported food products were processed without the statutory testing by NAFDAC.
“The challenges bedeviling the export process of NAFDAC regulated products, especially, assuring safety and quality status of food exports in Nigeria, has been traced to non-compliance with advisory guidelines established by NAFDAC to encourage participatory exports. Almost all exported food products are processed without statutory testing by NAFDAC. Therefore, it is not surprising that all the items exported without NAFDAC quality control and safety tests are rejected”, she said.
Adeyeye revealed that the regulatory organztion in collaboration with the UK Food Standard Agency has put measures in place to stop the rejection of Nigerian food products in the international market. The agency would be commencing six regulatory measures to address the situation, including immediate implementation of NAFDAC Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Good Hygienic Practices (GHP), and Laboratory testing such as mycotoxin, pesticide residue, and heavy metals certification for regulated food and drug products.
NAFDAC would also carry out the National Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) on some of these products as administered by the Federal Government-appointed Pre-shipment Inspection Agents (PIAs). Other measures mentioned were the inclusion of NAFDAC in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) export proceed (NXP) form processing and engagement with the Comptroller General of Customs as the new administrator of the Nigeria Single Window Trade portal to facilitate this.
Adeyeye disclosed that the regulation was already hosted on NAFDAC’s website, and an e-copy had been sent to exporters, trade associations, and professional bodies for their input and comments. This process would continue for the next 60 days, which started on October 11th.