Thursday, 22 February 2018


In the aftermath of the furor surrounding the ban slammed on some of Nigeria’s export produce by the European Union, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised Nigerian exporters to stop embarrassing the country.

This is just as the agency told indigenous exporters to obtain certification of products before moving into the export market. 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.

Spokesman of NAFDAC, and its Director of Special Duty, Dr. Abubakar Jimoh, who gave this advice in Abuja, said this followed the rejection of about 25 Nigerian produce by the European Union (EU) between 2015 and 2016 for lack of standard.

Jimoh, who urged exporters to subject their products to NAFDAC’s standard and internationally accredited laboratories for proper certification, 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.

According to the NAFDAC spokesman, the action of exporters has put the country’s image in bad light and also caused a huge loss to the exporters themselves which had implication to the economy of the country.

While further decrying 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 noted that the laboratory in Lagos had been accredited internationally and any product that gets approval from such lab would be recognised globally, even as he disclosed plans to establish another laboratory in Benue to serve exporters in the North Central part of the country.

“The EU team that visited our lab in Lagos about a year and half ago were happy with what they met on ground. We have two laboratories in Lagos, the one in Oshodi deals with food products, micro toxic, High Liquid Performance Chromatography and pesticide residues, while the one in Yaba deals mainly on drugs.

“Laboratory is capital intensive and we cannot have it in every state; therefore those we have now serve states close to them. We have the capacity and we are well prepared to ensure all our exported products from the country get NAFDAC’s clean bill of health as an agency charged with responsibility of quality control,” he said.

He confirmed that the EU had certified the laboratory in Lagos and considered it as meeting the world standard, further disclosing that the 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. (Oracle)

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