Over the years, Nigerian food products have been constantly rejected at the international market. This makes international accessibility and acceptability difficult for Nigerian exporters.
Therefore, in order to combat the trend, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is partnering with some relevant agencies.
The agencies are Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), Shippers Councils, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), and the Nigeria Agricultural and Quarantine Service (NAQS), among others.
The collaboration was announced at a meeting organised by NAFDAC in Lagos. The meeting, which was held to address the issue, was tagged ‘Effective Inter- Agencies Collaboration as a Means to Diversify Nigerian Economy through Export’.
Why Nigerian products are rejected: One of the reasons why Nigerian products are often rejected at the international market is the use of improper labelling and packaging. Some Nigerian products are also rejected because they are not recognized internationally. Therefore, there is a need for exporters to include the generic names of their products.
Also, some food items are rejected as a result of the poor quality, contamination and high levels of chemicals used while preserving them. This is why good agricultural processes are necessary.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Christiana Mojisola Adeyeye while reiterating her commitment to tackling food rejection and the measures taken to change the trend said,
“The rejection is not only about losing money but losing Nigeria’s image. We are working together to ensure that bad products do not go out of the country anymore and that is one of the reasons why we scheduled this meeting so that we can consolidate our efforts.
From our discussion, we are planning to consolidate through enlightenment, targeted sensitisation and consolidated testing of these products between SON and NAFDAC. We want our people to understand the right thing to do before they ship their products outside the country.
“We have the instrumentation to detect Azo-dye. We take samples to the laboratory to ensure that whatever is sold to our people doesn’t have this dye that can destroy our kidneys.”