The Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) on Saturday, confiscated perishable exported foods worth over N3 million and rejected by the United Kingdom due to failure to obtain phytosanitary certification. The NAQS head of inspection, South-West Zone, Dr Moses Adewumi, supervised the confiscation in Lagos.
According to him, under the international movement of agricultural produce, there are standards to be met as domiciled in the international plant protection convention. “We have 41 standards that guide commodities and movement of vegetables and other perishable foods.
“Before any perishable food can be exported, it must be accompanied with phytosanitary certification. We want all exporters and those trying to bring their business to the country to be aware of phytosanitary certification.
“The phytosanitary certification states all the health issues of the commodities being exported,” Adewumi said. He advised exporters to visit any quarantine office for procedures on exportation of perishable foods.
Dayo Folorunso, a scientist at the zonal office, Ikeja, advised that a farm must have a good structure, including staff, storage and pack house, before they plan for export. Folorunso added that there was the need for intending exporters to have cool vans. He blamed the rejection of the commodities by the United Kingdom on cutting corners.
Folorunso urged exporters to desist from such an attitude, noting that it tarnishes Nigeria’s image and generates losses for such exporters.
Dr Eze Vincent, head of station, NAQS, NAHCO Terminal, advised exporters to follow due process and avoid anything that could lead to rejection of their commodities, especially now that the government is encouraging exportation of agricultural produce.