The National Agency for Food And Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised Nigerian exporters to stop embarrassing the country by obtaining the agency’s certification of products.
The Spokesman of NAFDAC, Abubakar Jimoh, gave the advice while fielding questions from newsmen in Abuja on Monday on the rejection of about 25 Nigerian produce by the European Union (EU) between 2015 and 2016.
Jimoh explained that the EU had rejected the 25 exported food products from Nigeria for lack of standard.
Some of the food products on the EU rejection list from Nigeria include beans, sesame seeds, melon seeds, dried fish and meat, peanut chips and palm oil, among others.
He therefore urged exporters to subject their products to NAFDAC’s standard and internationally accredited laboratories for proper certification.
He said that the screening and certification of any product for export by NAFDAC was free of charge in spite of facilities, personnel and chemical reagents being used to conduct such tests.
“The Federal Government is doing this as a deliberate policy to encourage our exporters and to satisfy international standards for exports.
“We are now appealing to our exporters not to run away from product certification of NAFDAC, it is free and we don’t charge anything for such service.
“We have adequate personnel and equipment to carry out such responsibility in the country,’’ Jimoh said.
The spokesman lamented that the action of exporters has put the country’s image in bad light and also cause a huge loss to the exporters themselves which had implication to the economy of the country.
According to him, NAFDAC had six functional laboratories that conduct various types of products test across the country.
He also decried exporters’ penchant for bypassing NAFDAC and smuggling of their products at the detriment of the country’s economy and their income.
Jimoh said that the agency had two functional laboratories in Lagos, one each in Kaduna, Agolo in Anambra, Maiduguri and Port Hacourt, while the one in Calabar had not been completed.
He disclosed plans to establish another laboratory in Benue to serve exporters in the North Central part of the country.
Jimoh, who is also the NAFDAC Director Special Duty, noted that the laboratory in Lagos had been accredited internationally and any product that gets approval from such lab would be recognised globally.
He confirmed that the EU had certified the laboratory in Lagos and considered it as meeting the world standard.
He disclosed that Kaduna laboratory was inherited by NAFDAC from the Federal Ministry of Health and later gutted by fire, but that the agency had built a new lab.
The spokesman added that the Kaduna laboratory was built to serve all agricultural farm produce coming from the north for screening and certification and exportation.
He added that the laboratory has required facilities and equipment and was now awaiting international accreditation.
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