NAFDAC displeased over rejection of exported substandard products, to review sanctions for offenders


The Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye has lamented the spate of rejection of perceived substandard products from Nigeria in some foreign countries stating that the agency will review its prescribed sanctions for exporters of substandard products.

Prof Adeyeye who stated this at a news conference on Tuesday, said that the agency has been able to identify some of the reasons for which several goods exported from NIgeria to other foreign countries were being rejected.

According to her, some of these reasons include non-compliance to advisory guidelines established by NAFDAC to encourage participatory exports while noting that almost all exported food products were processed without statutory testing by NAFDAC.

Prof Adeyeye explained that some of the goods are exported without NAFDAC quality control and safety tests hence their rejection. She also identified as reasons, non-utilisation of hitherto free laboratory testing by NAFDAC for export samples with the connivance of unscrupulous agents and the exclusion of NAFDAC’s requirements for its regulated products in the mandatory pre-shipment inspection in the National Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) as administered by the Federal Government-appointed Pre-shipment Inspection Agents (PIAs).

Speaking further, the NAFDAC boss revealed that some of the exporters were unwilling to comply with minimal sanitary and phytosanitary measures required for exports to countries with stringent market access, as well as poor packaging by some manufacturers.

She also noted that many exporters had formed the habit of disregarding the importation requirements of trading partner countries.

“Penchant for sourcing from open markets for exports without any form of minimal safety or quality specifications and unwillingness to invest in pre-export activities that help to ensure sustainable export,” she added as she disclosed some of the adopted measures to curb the menace.

The NAFDAC boss said that in a bid to ratify all these challenges, as part of the outcome of its recent meeting with the UK Food Standard Agency, the agency would be commencing six regulatory measures to address the situation.

She listed immediate inclusion and implementation, as a matter of urgency, NAFDAC Good Manufacturing Practices, Good Hygienic Practices and Laboratory tests such as mycotoxin, pesticide residue, and heavy metals certification for regulated food and drug products.

She said that NESS would also be carried out on some of these products as administered by the Federal Government-appointed PIAs.

Other measures she mentioned were the inclusion of NAFDAC in the Central Bank of Nigeria export proceed (NXP) form processing and engagement with the Comptroller General of Customs as the new administrator of the Nigeria Single Window Trade portal to facilitate this.

She said that NAFDAC had earlier engaged with CBN (Trade and Exchange Division) and the Federal Ministry of Finance (Home Finance) on this same matter. She added that the agency would also be strengthening in-country regulatory infrastructures on export with the introduction of NAFDAC Regulations on Export 2022.

Adeyeye disclosed that the regulation was already hosted on the NAFDAC website with an e-copy sent to exporters, trade associations and professional bodies for their inputs and comments within the next 60 days which began on October 11.

She noted that the agency would also be collaborating with the Nigerian Exports Promotion Council regarding the regulation of goods.

According to her, the agency will continue with awareness and sensitisation meetings with the export trade operators on NAFDAC guidelines-regulated products.

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