Nigerian Quarantine Service raises hope on banned agric produce
The Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service has expressed optimism that the European Union (EU) will remove the ban on exporting some Nigerian produce to European countries soon.
Dr. Vincent Isegbe, the Coordinating-Director of the service, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said the service and other relevant government agencies were working to ensure the removal of the three-year old ban in the first quarter of 2018.
He recalled that the presidency set up an inter-ministerial committee on zero-reject of the country’s agricultural produce to the international markets in 2016.
The committee, according to him, is to look into issues that led to the suspension at the first instance and what caused the extension of the ban as well as to find solution to the problem.
“The committee, comprising the service, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Federal Ministry of Health, among others, has made progress so far,’’ he observed.
“Excess agricultural produce is meant to be exported since we are diverting from oil to agriculture.
“The main objective is that whatever goes out of this country should not return to us either inform of rejection of low standard quality.
“The three years ban will expire in 2019 but we are working round to ensure the ban is lifted in 2018,’’ he said.
The EU, in June 2015, suspended some of Nigeria’s food items like beans, sesame seeds, melon seeds, fried fish, meat and peanut chips, among others, from entering European countries till June 2016 but later extended it to three years starting from 2016.