By Moses Emorinken, Abuja
Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Prof Moji Adeyeye has decried the incessant rejection of food and agricultural commodities from Nigeria by the United States of America USA and the European Union (EU) member countries on account of poor quality.
She urged 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.
Speaking on Quality and Safety of Export Food Trade at a virtual technical roundtable meeting with other Federal Government agencies like Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development MARD, Foreign Portfolio Investments FPIS, Standard Organization of Nigeria SON, Nigeria Export Promotion Council NEPC, and Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria IPAN, amongst others, Adeyeye lamented the resultant bad image the repeated rejection of commodities from Nigeria by the EU has caused the country.
In a statement by NAFDAC Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, in Abuja on Sunday, Adeyeye noted the stakeholders’ meeting was apt considering the volume of food and agricultural commodities from Nigeria 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.
Internationally, she said 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 some with inadequate packaging and labeling which had caused a lot of products’ rejections in the global market.
She noted that 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 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 exporters to meet with international regulations thereby creating employment and earning foreign exchange for Nigeria.
Through this intervention by NAFDAC, she added it was agreed that these products be subjected to 100 percent pre-export testing and issuance of Health Certificate to products with satisfactory limits before European Union further verify at their border control points.