By Aluta News
July 10, 2023
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)
has reached out to pre-shipment inspection agents at Nigerian ports on the need for them to collaborate with a view to ensuring that export-bound foods are not rejected abroad.
The collaboration move was contained in a statement signed by the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye and issued on Sunday by the agency’s Media Consultant, Mr Olusayo Akintola.
The statement said that Adeyeye reached out to the pre-shipment agents at a consultative meeting held on Friday.
According to the statement, Adeyeye was represented at the meeting by Dr Abimbola Adegboye, Director, Port Inspection Directorate (PID), NAFDAC) and the Head, Office of Trade and International Relations (OTIR).
Adeyeye said the collaboration was in continuation of the search for a lasting solution to the problem of Nigerian non-oil exports which were being rejected abroad.
She said that the collaboration would revamp the export trade in the non-oil sector and reposition Nigeria in the global market.
The NAFDAC boss expressed the agency’s discomfort at the alarming rate at which Nigerian food exports were being rejected abroad.
She said the meeting was aimed at building effective collaboration with NAFDAC to complement its robust regulatory policies geared towards understanding the NAFDAC export processes.
Adeyeye said that the collaboration was also to safeguard a unified exportation procedure and zero rejection of Nigeria’s export products.
She lamented that NAFDAC, which she described as the competent authority on food safety matter with global accreditation in food safety testing, could be left out in the list of organisations whose inputs were required before Clean Certificate of Inspection (CCI) is issued by Pre-shipment Inspection Agents.
She said that there was high volume of rejection of Nigerian food products abroad because NAFDAC was not involved in the screening such products prior to their exportation.
“NAFDAC as a governmental agency was established by enabling Act Cap N1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004 which empowers the agency as the competent authority in Nigeria,“ she pointed out.
According to Adeyeye, the agency is charged with the responsibility of regulating and controlling the quality of manufactured food products, their importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale, and consumption .
“Essentially, NAFDAC is mandated is to ensure that traded products are of good quality, safe and wholesome,“ she pointed out.
The NAFDAC director general said that the Port Inspection Directorate of the agency had met with the Chairman of Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS).
“The directorate has also met with the Nigeria Export Supervision Scheme (NESS), Area Comptroller of the Nigeria Customs Services at the Ports, advocacy visits were made to export sheds at the seaports, airports and land boarders,” she said.
She, however, expressed her appreciation in respect of the activities of PIAs, the main actors in the export processing chain.
She said that the coming together of critical stakeholders would enhance the non-oil sector, making it better and more robust.
to her, NAFDAC seeks to enhance export trade encouraging and supporting trade in quality products.
She assured PIAs and other sister agencies, including Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS) of quality collaboration.
Adeyeye disclosed that cocoa beans, sesame seeds, cashew and seven other products topped the list of agricultural commodities Nigeria exported in the first nine months of 2022, generating N427.6 billion or $1.02 billion.
She disclosed that the European Union (EU) would reject consignments containing foods that did not comply with EU maximum residue limits for veterinary medicine and pesticides and maximum limits (MLs) for contaminants in foods.
Adeyeye, however, maintained that tightening the regulatory and inspection regime for exports of food items and agricultural products was one of the ways to address export rejections.
According to her, all relevant government agencies and associations involved in Nigeria’s exports must ensure that agro products meet specified international standards, are safe and are of good quality.