In response to the recent rejection of made-in-Nigeria products by the United States and the European Union, the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has called for more synergy among government agencies to ensure that the country’s products meet the stipulated standard requirements for exports.
Speaking passionately, NAFDAC DG, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye while expressing displeasure over the incessant rejection of food and agricultural commodities from Nigeria by the US and the EU member countries on account of poor quality, urged the regulatory agencies at the port who are mandated to ensure high quality of imports and exports to find an urgent and a lasting solution to address the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) border rejection notifications from the European Commission on products originating from Nigeria.
The NAFDAC boss said Nigeria products are usually rejected because they either have the presence of pesticide or impurities exceeded the maximum permitted level or as a result of inadequate packaging and labelling.
Mrs. Adeyeye disclosed that after the agency analysed the RASFF alert from the EU, it was observed that majority of the rejected products were smuggled out of Nigeria and were not certified by the agency or the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services at the port.
Meanwhile, NAFDAC says on its websites that all personnel working in direct contact with food, food contact surfaces and food-packaging materials shall conform to hygienic practices while on duty to the extent necessary to protect against contamination of food.
Similarly, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also stated on its website that “Food, drugs, cosmetics, and devices imported to the United States that do not comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations may be detained by FDA Compliance Officers in the U.S. Port of Entry”.
It added that “there are many reasons a product may be detained. Some examples include: Adulteration (illegal colours or pesticides, undeclared allergens, etc., misbranding failure to register, labelling errors, etc).”
The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its report stated that Nigeria’s Merchandise Trade Deficit Deepened in the first quarter of 2021 due to rising imports.
In the report, NBS noted that the value of total imports rose by 15.61% in Q1, 2021 compared to Q4, 2020 and 54.30% compared to Q1, 2020 while the value of total exports in Q1, 2021 decreased by 8.99% against the level recorded in Q4, 2020 and 29.26 % compared to Q1,2020.
The report added that in Q1 2021, the value of total exports stood at N2,907.21 billion, representing 29.79% of total trade. This value represented a decline of 8.99% against the level recorded in Q4 2020 and 29.26 % compared to Q1 2020.
Nigeria trade partners are the USA, Netherland, Belgium, India, China, Spain and France, some of the products traded include Sesame seeds, cocoa beans, cashew nuts, coconuts, ginger and shea cake.