Following the reports that there are lots of Nigeria’s agricultural commodities being rejected by the European Union (EU) at the point of entry, the Federal Government has cleared the air that it is only bean product that is facing suspension while others were due to improper documentations.
Coordinating Director, Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Dr. Vincent Isegbe, in a chat with this newspaper said this in Lagos.
He explained that there have been erroneous reports that Nigeria has about 16, 32 and 46 agro commodities that are currently being rejected by the EU over standardization requirement issues in the media.
According to him, it is better to set the record straight that Nigerian commodities are doing well internationally and it is only bean that is suspended by EU among the country’s agro commodity exports and the agency is doing its possible best to ensure that the suspension is lifted on beans.
He said that his agency is responsible for issuing clearance for agro exports and imports in the country, stressing that it is not folding its hands in the area of export control measures in entrenching proper standardization of agro commodities.
Isegbe maintained that other agro commodities have to do with incidental cases, which arose because of improper documentation during shipment of the products.
“Let me start by correcting some erroneous reports in the media: some people have reported that 16 commodities have been rejected; others said 32 commodities, while some said 46 commodities,” he explained.
“The EU has clearly come out to say that for now, it is only beans that has been suspended from going to Europe. The other ones they are talking about rejection are incidental cases; maybe they forged documents or they didn’t get the proper documents or the commodity has an issue, which they will draw our attention to. A
“And if it’s something that we can resolve, like the issue of certificate – maybe because of improper documentation, that can be corrected and the commodity will get passage.
Consequently, he said these are incidental cases, adding that the only commodity, which is under suspension for now is beans, which is being addressed. “That is what the EU said we should address – address export control,” he explained.
“By export control, they mean that we should have machinery in place to ensure that whatever leaves the sores of Nigeria is safe for them in Europe.
“Export control means that those commodities should be inspected and certified by quarantine services. In the process, the criteria for inspection and certification will be put in place. One, there will be no pesticides above permissible limit, no pests. Generally, the commodities will be physically clean, well packaged, labeled and exported with the photo-sanitary certificate issued by NAQS.
“Once that is done, those commodities will be accepted by EU.”
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