The Director General, National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii has urged exporters to improve the quality and packaging of both processed and semi-processed food commodities for export in order to compete favourably in the international markets.
Orhii gave the advice during an enlightenment workshop organized for exporters in collaboration with the Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Lagos.
Represented by the Deputy Director in charge of Export, Mrs. Comfort Makanjuola, Orhii lamented that over the years, the country has been experiencing cases of continued rejection of food commodities originating from Nigeria as a result of exporters’ inability to meet standards required by countries of destination.
The situation, according to him, has continuously led to economic losses not only to the exporter but also to the nation.
“Product rejection cause colossal economic loss to the exporter and also leads to economic and social damage to Nigeria as a nation. That is why we call for collaboration between NAFDAC and all stakeholders in the export sector.
“On assumption of office, I decided to build a strong partnership for promotion of export of value added agricultural products; we intend to strengthen collaboration with all stakeholders to achieve these objectives,” he said.
Orhii noted that export is a major aspect of building the economy of every country hence the need for regulation of the sector to ensure that products exported from Nigeria are of good quality and meet international best practices.
“Nigeria is currently focusing on developing a robust and dynamic non-oil export dependent economy which is steadily growing and currently stands at 12 percent. NAFDAC is working hard to ensure that all processed, semi-processed food commodities exported out of Nigeria are save and of high quality,” he said.
Controller, Apapa Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Charles Edike stated that the need to ensure that regulated products are properly packaged before they are exported is of utmost importance.
“If before now, products are properly tested here, certified before they leave our shores, the recent EU ban on some products from Nigeria like dry beans wouldn’t have come up, we would not have this problem.
“So we are calling on all exporters that they should not cut corners by avoiding NAFDAC or other government agencies that have to do with regulated products because you cannot quantify the benefits you derive from going through their hands. We cannot overemphasize the importance of letting government regulatory agencies do the work they are paid to do,” he said.
By Pita Ochai