The Nigerian Export Promotion Council is targeting ‘zero rejection’ of Nigeria’s exports in the international market and in line with this aim; it has been organising a series of capacity-building workshops for exporters to train them in standards and requirements in the global market.
The Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Mr. Segun Awolowo, declared this through the Director, Product Development, NEPC, Mr. Olajide Ibrahim, during a one-day capacity building programme on best practices for animal and animal products exporters in Lagos recently.
Awolowo spoke on the sidelines of the programme which featured key representatives of the Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as well as the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service.
In his remarks during the workshop themed, ‘Compliance and adherence to food safety measures for animal and animal products exporters in line with international best practices’ he said, “The capacity-building programme is organised in an attempt to minimise incidence of rejection of our exportable products. We are aiming at zero rejection of our exports.
“It is geared towards complying with the European Union and other global markets requirements for animal and animal products imports.”
The NEPC boss observed that although animal and animal products were veritable sources of protein and income for practitioners, only the poultry industry had achieved an appreciable level of commercialisation so far, adding, “In spite of the impressive statistics which make Nigeria number one in livestock production in Africa, the sector has not met the national demand for animal protein nor contributed significantly to the non-oil export sector over the years.
“Nigeria in 2014 exported leather products worth $487m. It is estimated that in the EU, imported animal products are worth 15 billion euros while the world trade in animals and animal products is estimated at about $365bn. This is huge and Nigeria can become a player in the global animal and animal products trade if we do it right.”
He added that attempts by a few individuals from Nigeria to export animal products through the informal sector had been met with failure and rejection at the border posts due to lack of technical know-how.