NAFDAC meets UK Food agency over rejection of exported Nigerian Food Products

The Director General, the National Agency of Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has met with the UK Food Standard Agency in order to address the continued rejection of Nigerian food products in the international market.

Meanwhile, the agency has warned that no Nigerian should export any NAFDAC regulated product without it passing through and being certified of its safety and quality status including full compliance with the destination country government requirements.

Director General, NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye who stated this yesterday in Abuja, said that most Nigerian food products are rejected in the United Kingdom due to non-compliance with advisory guidelines established by the agency and unwillingness of exporters to comply with minimal sanitary measures .

She noted that all items exported without NAFDAC quality control and safety tests were rejected, adding that the agency had to engage its UK counterpart during the recently concluded workshop on Nigeria-UK Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership in London, was hosted under the UK-Developing Country Trading Scheme with the Nigerian delegation led by Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.

Adeyeye said the agency also engaged the FSA on the non-notifications on such rejects and non-engagement of agency on the matter and the need for mutual recognition of electronic certification of both government agencies of export certification, among others.

She said, “The challenges bedeviling the export process of NAFDAC regulated products especially, assuring safety and quality status of food exports in Nigeria has been traced to non-compliance with advisory guidelines established by NAFDAC to encourage participatory exports. Almost all exported food products are processed without the statutory testing by NAFDAC. Therefore, it is not surprising that all the items exported without NAFDAC quality control and safety tests are rejected.

“Non-utilization of hitherto free laboratory testing by NAFDAC for export samples coupled with the connivance of unscrupulous agents; exclusion of NAFDAC’s requirements for its regulated products in the mandatory pre-shipment inspection in the National Export Supervision Scheme as administered by the FGN appointed pre-shipment Inspection Agents; unwillingness of exporters to comply with minimal sanitary and physio sanitary measures required for exports to countries with stringent market access.

“Adeyeye further observed that poor packaging, disregard for importation requirements of trading partners countries, penchant for sourcing from open markets for exports without any form of minimal safety or quality specifications; unwillingness to invest in pre-export activities that help to ensure sustainable export and disinformation on the roles of NAFDAC in the pre-shipment inspection and verification exercise of container stuffing also contributed to the reasons for rejection of Nigerian exports.”

To ratify the challenges, the agency noted that as an outcome of its meeting with FSA, it is commencing on six regulatory-measure approaches to address the situation.

“This is also very important to avert colossal economic loss resulting from the rejection of non-compliant exports by the trading partners.”

NAFDAC had earlier in the year, disclosed that over 70 per cent of food exports from Nigeria was rejected abroad.

The agency said the deplorable state of export trade facilitation for regulated products leaving the country has continued to be a serious cause for concern.


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