…Agric minister wants quarantine service back in seaport
Five containers of beans exported from Nigeria to the Republic of Ireland have been rejected and returned by the importers after the products were received with heaps of weeviles.
Currently, exportation of beans from Nigeria is banned by the European Union, but it is not clear when the rejected product was exported.
Nigerian producers will resume exportation of beans to EU countries by June this year, according to the minister of state for Agriculture, Mr Heineken Lopobiri.
Inspecting the rejected agricultural product at the PTML Terminal, Tin Can Port Lagos yesterday, the minister of state for Agriculture, Lopobiri said that the containers were returned because heaps of weevils were detected in them by Republic of Island Quarantine Service.
The minister described the return of the containers as a national embarrassment, saying that the containers were exported without the knowledge of the Nigerian Agriculture and Quarantine Service.
Lopobiri said that government would be returning the Quarantine Service back to the ports to partake in the examination of import and export containers.
He said that hence forth, for any agro-product to leave the country, it has to be certified by the Quarantine Service, saying that this is the global practice, in US and other developed countries.
He said, “Currently there is no more dollars oil and so, we need dollars from agriculture. We are in trade deficit with every other country in the world including Cameroun, and Benin Republic.
“So, we are trying to encourage as much export as possible so that we can substitute petrol-dollars to agro-dollars.
“No government agency has right apart from Quarantine to say that agro-products is banned for export or import, it is the legal and exclusive responsibility of Quarantine Service.”
The minister, who disclosed that the EU suspension is only on beans, and that the suspension would expire by June 2016, said relevant authorities would conduct their investigations, because the EU is concerned that if appropriate measures are not taken they will extend the ban on beans to other products.