Home » Africa: Nigerian Agencies, NAFDAC And NAQS partner to streamline certification of export produce, as Aviacargo committee visit agencies’ labs

Africa: Nigerian Agencies, NAFDAC And NAQS partner to streamline certification of export produce, as Aviacargo committee visit agencies’ labs

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agro-products

Worried by the frequent rejection of Nigeria’s exported agro-products in Europe and other parts of the world due to numerous challenges facing the sector, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS) is partnering to streamline the processes required for getting produce certified.

This is just as the Aviacargo Roadmap Committee setup by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), made a visit to the laboratories of the agencies to have a first-hand knowledge of the processes involved in certifying commodities for export and the challenges faced by exporters in meeting the required standard for export.

READ: News: Nigeria is the largest producer of many Agro-products, yet it loses $1bn annually to non-certification of Agri-produce for export

There has been a recurrent rejection of Nigerian agro-products exported abroad due to food safety concerns, non-adherence to best practices and disregard for basic export requirements by receiving countries.

Speaking at the NAFDAC central laboratory on Friday in Lagos, Director Laboratory Service, Dr. Charles Nwachukwu said the Director General, NAFDAC, Professor Moji Adeyeye, is deeply concerned over the rejection of Nigerian products abroad adding that the agency collaborating with NAQS to reverse the trend.

He added that NAFDAC and NAQS are working out a Memorandum of Understanding to streamline the process of certification of export products out of Nigeria.

READ: Africa: To boost the country’s exports, Nigerian govt seeks removal of Nigerian products from Chinese Protocol Lists

He said: “The Director General of NAFDAC is seriously concerned about the rejects of our commodities in Europe and in every part of the world. I am glad that Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS) is working with us on this. There are series of meetings that are ongoing to streamline export of agricultural commodities and finish product outside this country. And these meetings have been held bilaterally and in the presence of the director general of NAFDAC, and the Comptroller General, NAQS and their interest is to see how they can streamline things and see what we have to do about the various certifications that are required. We are ready to partner with anybody to grow the Nigerian system, whether it is in the interest of export or health and we are seriously involved in this.

READ: News: Nigerian Government plans to grow Cashew exports from $252 million to $500 million for 2023

“One of the criteria we are using, is that we want to encourage exporters to have a good certification. There is nowhere in the world they have rejected the certificate of NAFDAC because we have one of the best labs in Africa. NAFDAC have about 7 laboratories and 5 of them are concerned with food. This place is a center of excellence and we have one of the best facilities in the lab and we are improving on the laboratory equipment that are available.

In recent times, we told NAQS to issue phytosanitary certificate. But phytosanitary certificate may not go into the contaminants that are necessary for a healthy food to be transported from Nigeria to wherever that it is being exported to, and NAFDAC does that by issuing clean certificate of health. And both certificates can be acceptable anywhere in the world.

“So, we are not undermining the activity of anybody, so the much we can do is to streamline the system to ensure that those who are exporting do not have to spend so much money and so much time, that is concern of the two agencies.

“The committee of the two agencies, NAFDAC and NAQS are working out an MoU to streamline the process of certification, that is the passion of the director general NAFDAC and Comptroller General NAQS” he stated.

Nwachukwu added that NAFDAC is offering laboratory services for export products free of charge adding that the export rejects have been a major concern between the two agencies, “that is why we are trying to see what we can do to avoid those rejects”.

Earlier in his address, Coordinator, Aviacargo Committee, Mr Ikechi Uko, said part of the reasons for visiting the lab was understand the processes agro-products in the country passes through to get certified before they are exported abroad.

“We need to be number one in Africa, in a hurry for the simple fact that we have the largest economy in Africa, we have busy airports many Products and the biggest Population, we want to be the hub for cargo movements in West Africa.

“Kenya is ranked number one in Africa, yet it has a smaller economy and a smaller population, what are we not doing right in Nigeria where we have busier airports and a larger population and vast arable land?”

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