May 21, 2024

NAFDAC takes firm stance against export product rejections

food preservative

Director-General, NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye

…vows to strengthen Nigeria’s product trade sector

By Dickson Omobola

Alarmed by the recurring problem of Nigerian products being rejected abroad, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has vowed to crack down on issues plaguing the nation’s product export sector.

This decisive move aims to restore order and ensure only high-quality goods leave Nigeria’s shores.

The Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Christianah Adeyeye blamed the situation on the lack of regulatory supervision in food safety and inability to meet minimum requirements for product quality among others.

 Adeyeye who spoke in Lagos at a National Stakeholder workshop for Exporters of NAFDAC Regulated Products, with the theme: ‘Achieveing Sustainable Export of Regulated Products – The Imperatives,’ Adeyeye said with internationally accredited laboratories nationwide, NAFDAC was working towards the incorporation of global best practices in export trade facilitation.

Highlighting the difficulties, she said: “The previous and perennial state of international rejection of Nigerian exports has been attributed to the gross absence or negligence of regulatory supervision in the area of food safety and quality.

The evasion or rejection of statutory stipulations of minimum requirements for product quality, packaging, and storage conditions for shipping of regulated products in international commerce. Ignorance of the regulatory requirements from the Importing country.

“Sourcing of products from the open market without consciousness of intrinsic quality and state of commodities regarding pesticide residue, microbial load and aflatoxin content. Corruption of regulatory systems and operatives as well as. Sabotaging national interest on the altar of selfish and temporal gain and deliberate and myopic unprofessional practices such as adulteration of goods and commodities for weight gain.”

On NAFDAC’s plans, she said: “Going forward, we are determined to challenge the status-quo and we request the support and goodwill of well-meaning exporters to cooperate with us in this endeavour. We are assiduously working with the relevant stakeholders (like the CBN Trade & Exchange Dept, The Nigeria Customs Service, The Federal Ministry of Trade & Investments, PIAs etc.) towards the full automation of our export licensing of regulated products on the national single window for trade, where NAFDAC licenses will be a requirement for issuance of form e-NXP for regulated products.

“We hope to achieve this through working closely with willing exporters right from the farm to the pack, inculcating and internalizing the principles of GAP, GHP and GMP, while incorporating global SPS measures into the products as part of quality assurance before goods even arrive the ports for shipment that is at consolidation and stuffing stages.  We are also strengthening our in-country regulatory infrastructure. Our NAFDAC Statutory Export Regulation is in the process of being gazetted.”