The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) says it is leading an inter-agency team to the United Kingdom (UK) as part of efforts to address incidences of export rejects.
A statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by Ndubueze Okeke, Head Corporate Communications, NEPC, said that export rejects constitute a major constraint to the growth of the non-oil export sector.
According to the statement, among the agencies participating on the fact-finding mission are the National Food, Drug and Administration Control (NAFDAC) and the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS).
Others are Nigerian Customs Service NCS, National Aviation Handling Company, Skypower Aviation Handling Company Limited, Federal Produce inspection Service and Federation of Agricultural Commodities Association of Nigeria.
The statement quoted the Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak decried that cases of rejection had resulted in stricter inspection regime on Nigerian exports in the importing countries.
“And in some cases led to the suspension or ban of some products.
“It also attracts unfavourable international media attention, gives the country a negative image as well as constitutes financial burden to the exporters who have to bear the cost of either reshipping the banned product to Nigeria or destroying the product,” Yakusak said.
The statement added that the objective of the five–day visit is to provide Nigerian export-regulatory and facilitating agencies the opportunity of observing the processes of agricultural commodities import procedures.
It said that the agencies would also interface with port health and food import regulatory agencies at the Border Control Points (BCPs) in the UK.
Other areas to be visited by the team are, Southampton Port, Spitafield Market, a one-stop aggregation and distribution centre for imported food in the UK as well as the Food Standards Agency (FDA), the parliament among others.
The said that the team held an interactive session with some Nigerian food importers in UK as part of efforts to address challenges encountered in importing food items from Nigeria to UK.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) Niyi Adebayo recently inaugurated a Technical Committee to address incidences of export rejects.
This is with a view to proffer solutions to the problem.