The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says more than 70 percent of food exported from Nigeria are rejected abroad.
Speaking at the official commissioning of the new NAFDAC office complex at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Mojisola Adeyeye, the agency’s director-general, said the issue was causing huge financial losses to the exporters and the country at large.
However, she said the incidence of rejection of food exports by other countries may soon become a thing of the past if collaboration between NAFDAC and other government agencies at the ports is strengthened.
Adeyeye said along with the port agencies, NAFDAC would ensure goods being exported are of requisite quality and meet the regulatory requirements of the importing countries before they are even packaged.
“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,” she said.
Adeyeye added the mandate to safeguard the health of the populace and the quality of imports into a nation like Nigeria – which is “overwhelmingly dependent” on importation – can not be actualised “without the effective presence of NAFDAC at the ports and land borders.”
The director-general commended the police and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for the symbiotic relationship that exists between its management and the agency.
“Without customs, we will not be able to do a lot of what we have been able to do,” Adeyeye said.
She also said that without the police, NAFDAC 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”