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Leverage HACCP to access market, NEPC tells exporters

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Executive Director, NEPC, Segun Awolowo

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has equipped 11 exporters with the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification to reduce the high level of rejection of made-in-Nigeria goods at the international market.

The Executive Director, NEPC, Segun Awolowo, said the move was apt as accessing global market has become stricter due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This, he said, leads to tougher inspection regimes at the border control points (BCPs) in importing countries.

Awolowo at the NEPC-sponsored HACCP certification programme for beneficiary companies in Lagos added that the stricter and increasingly competitive requirements imply that exportable food items must strive to acquire additional mandatory certifications to enable them to compete globally.

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He said penetrating international markets for processed and value-added products, particularly food items, requires additional voluntary certification.

According to him, the Council had conducted a series of certification awareness training programmes for over 1,000 manufacturing and food-processing companies, including MSMEs across the country.

He noted that the HACCP system identifies specific hazards in food processes by controlling major food risks such as microbiological, chemical and physical contaminants, stating that the food industry can better assure consumers that its products are safe.

“The NEPC sponsored HACCP Certification process for the eleven beneficiary companies will be handled by our technical partners TopCertifier and experienced auditors. This is a privileged opportunity for the selected companies. The council is confident that your selection coupled with the eventual implementation of the HACCP system will give your product the necessary boost for increased global market access,” he said.

Also speaking, the Regional Coordinator, South West, NEPC, Samuel Oyeyipo, said the certification would give the exporters access to the international market without difficulties, which he said would also reject the problem of rejection of made-in-Nigeria goods at the international market.

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He said the certification would go a long way to reduce the level of rejection of made-in-Nigeria goods at the international market substantially, pointing out that the certification is proof that these goods are safe for consumption and free from biological and chemical contaminants.

On his part, the Group Chairman, CBS Group, Khalifah Onu, said it was important to promote the local market, maintaining that it goes a long way to ripple down to encouraging more economic activities in the agricultural sector.

He added that the platform being created by the council makes it easier for exporters to export their products into the global market.

“This certification will make exportation easier without being scrutinized by the international community. The selection was quite rigorous with the due process carried out to ensure the companies are duly registered,’ he said.

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HACCPNEPCSegun Awolowo
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