The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has announced measures it is taking to address concerns about the ongoing rejection of Nigerian food exports by foreign markets.
According to NAFDAC, the recent rejection of Nigerian food exports by international markets is due to concerns about the quality of food products exported from the country.
These concerns have been raised by foreign buyers, who have reportedly found various quality issues with the food products they have received from Nigerian exporters.
In order to address these concerns, NAFDAC is working with exporters to improve production processes and ensure compliance with international standards.
According to NAFDAC Director-General Mojisola Adeyeye, some of the reasons why the United Kingdom has rejected food exports from Nigeria include non-compliance with safety and hygiene standards set by the organisation, as well as a lack of compliance with minimal hygiene requirements.
Adeyeye expressed concern that almost all of the exported food products were processed without undergoing the required NAFDAC testing.
She emphasised the importance of pre-export inspection and testing of food products, and urged exporters to take these steps to ensure that their products meet the required safety and quality standards.
Here statement reads:
“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 statutory testing by NAFDAC. Therefore, it is not surprising that all the items exported without NAFDAC quality control and safety tests are rejected,”
Adeyeye also disclosed that the UK Food Standards Agency and NAFDAC have been working together to put measures in place to prevent the rejection of Nigerian food products on the global market.
These measures include:
In response to the issue of food product rejection, NAFDAC announced six regulatory measures, including the immediate implementation of NAFDAC Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) standards, as well as Laboratory testing for mycotoxin, pesticide residue, and heavy metals certification for regulated food and drug products.
The agency also emphasised the importance of training and education for all stakeholders in the food industry, including farmers, processors, and importers.
NAFDAC also said it would also carry out the National Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) on some of the foods.
The agency further stated that these measures would be monitored by the Pre-shipment Inspection Agents (PIAs) selected by the Federal Government.
In addition, NAFDAC’s proposed measures include engaging the Comptroller General of Customs as the administrator of the Nigeria Single Window Trade site and adding NAFDAC to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) export proceed (NXP) form processing, in order to ensure effective monitoring and compliance with regulations.
Adeyeye disclosed that the regulation was already posted on NAFDAC’s website and that exporters, trade groups, and professional bodies had received an electronic copy for their feedback.