The Nigerian Government disclosed a new scheme to reduce the rate at which Nigerian food exports are rejected abroad due to poor standards.
This was disclosed by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), in a statement by the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye on Sunday.
Prof. Adeyeye stated that they will work with pre-shipment inspection agents at Nigerian ports on the need, with a view to ensuring that export-bound foods are not rejected.
The statement said that Adeyeye, represented at the meeting by Dr Abimbola Adegboye, Director, Port Inspection Directorate (PID), NAFDAC) and the Head, Office of Trade and International Relations (OTIR) reached out to the pre-shipment agents at a consultative meeting held on Friday.
The NAFDAC chief noted that 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, the statement added that:
- “Collaboration would revamp the export trade in the non-oil sector and reposition Nigeria in the global market.”
NAFDAC also revealed its discomfort at the alarming rate at which Nigerian food exports were being rejected abroad.
They said the meeting with the agent was aimed at building effective collaboration with NAFDAC to complement its robust regulatory policies geared towards understanding the NAFDAC export processes.
Adeyeye lamented that NAFDAC could be left out of the list of organisations whose inputs were required before a Clean Certificate of Inspection (CCI) is issued by Pre-shipment Inspection Agents.
The NAFDAC boss however noted the that high volume of rejection of Nigerian food products abroad was because NAFDAC was not involved in the screening of such products prior to exporting.
- “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.
- “Essentially, NAFDAC is mandated to ensure that traded products are of good quality, safe and wholesome.“
NAFDAC added that the Port Inspection Directorate of the agency had met with the Chairman of the Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS), adding:
- “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 borders.”
According to Adeyeye, NAFDAC seeks to enhance export trade by encouraging and supporting trade in quality products, assuring PIAS and other sister agencies, including Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the Nigeria Customs 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, citing 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 also noted that tightening the regulatory and inspection regime for exports of food items and agricultural products was one of the ways to address export rejections.
Recall NewsTimes reported last year that The Nigerian government announced the creation of a 10-member Implementation Committee on Nigeria’s agro-export rejection.
The Committee was inaugurated by Nigeria’s former trade minister, Niyi Adebayo on Thursday.
The minister noted that their duties include the effective implementation of the report of the Technical Committee, with recommendations aimed at addressing the rejection of Nigeria’s food exports.
Effective implementation of the report
Adebayo said the committee would employ an effective implementation of the report and also provide recommendations aimed at addressing the challenges of rejection of agro-exports in the international market.
- “Suffice it to state that some activities have been outlined to implement the recommendations of the committee. And it is the task of the Implementation Committee to diligently ensure that they are properly articulated for the growth and development of the export sub-sector of the economy.
- “As the assignment has reached a crucial stage, I wish to urge members of the committee to rededicate themselves to be able to accomplish this urgent national assignment in good time.”