The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, has explained why over 70 per cent of food exports from Nigeria are rejected abroad.
NAFDAC Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, revealed this at the official commissioning of the new NAFDAC Office complex for the Murtala Muhammed International Airport/NAHCO in Lagos.
Sayo Akintola, the Resident Media Consultant to NAFDAC, Adeyeye said the incidence of rejection of food exports from Nigeria in some European countries and the United States of America may soon become a thing of the past if collaboration between the agency and other government agencies at the ports is strengthened.
Adeyeye said the deplorable state of export trade facilitation for regulated products leaving the country has continued to be a serious cause for concern for the agency, adding that a trip to NAFDAC Export warehouses within the international airport will explain the major reason for the continuous rejection of Nigerian exports abroad.
She however noted that the agency is responding to the challenge by collaborating with the agencies at the Ports by ensuring that goods meet the regulatory requirements of the importing countries and destinations.
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“The mandate to safeguard the health of the populace through ensuring that food, medicines, cosmetics, medical devices, chemicals, and packaged water are safe, efficacious, and of the right quality in an economy that is overwhelmingly dependent on the importation of the bulk of its finished products and raw materials could never have been actualised without the effective presence of NAFDAC at the ports and land borders,’’ she said.
Commending the Nigeria Customs Service, she said, “Without customs, we will not be able to do a lot of what we have been able to do. The collaboration between Customs and NAFDAC is huge. NAFDAC is a complex organisation. We are scientific. We are police and we work with the Department of State Services. We work with Interpol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation because of the few unscrupulous stakeholders.
“NAFDAC collaborates with Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services to ensure that due diligence is done because over 70 per cent of the products that leave our ports get rejected. Considering the money spent on getting those products out of the country, it is a double loss for both the exporter and the country.
“Without the police, we cannot do much in terms of investigation and enforcement. We have over 80 policemen with us in NAFDAC. They help us a lot when we are doing raids or investigations as the case may be’’.