Nigeria generated $23million (N8.3 billon at prevailing rate of 360/$) from exportation of hibiscus flower (zobo) to Mexico, America and other European countries in seven months.
Coordinating director of the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Vincent Isegbe, who disclosed this over the weekend to LEADERSHIP, said the exportation was done from January to September 2017.
Isegbe , who was represented by the head, media and communications of the service, Dr. Gozie Nwodo, said the core mandate of the service was to facilitate trade and help farmers to excel in the international market.
According to him, “NAQS is here to make farmers excel and that was why Nigeria was able to export over $23 million worth of hibiscus flower (Zobo) to Mexico, America and other European countries from January to September 2017.”
He also disclosed that the service was collating the figure for the last quarter of 2017 and what has been exported in 2018 to the above mentioned countries.
Meanwhile, the coordinating director of the service has issued a stern warning to Nigerian exporters who breached process of exporting agriculture produce to western countries.
Isegbe , who was speaking against the backdrop of vegetables and edibles that were returned from the United Kingdom over lack of phytosanitary certificates stated that the affected exporters whose goods were returned would be suspended from exportation.
Though, he refused to mention the names of the exporters, he said the service would no longer tolerate breach of due process by exporters. He urged exporters to visit NAQS office to get more education on exportation of produce to meet international standard.
He said that Nigerian agricultural produce were being exported every day without complaints and rejections and urged exporters to always visit their website for information and guidelines on exportation of perishable items.
“NAQS is here to help farmers and our core mandate is to facilitate international trade. We are created to help farmers excel and also to allow their produce meet international standard.
“We however, extend stern warning to exporters shunting the process of exporting agriculture produce. We are not proud of our produce being rejected. Also, every day our produce go to the United Kingdom and they are not being rejected because procedures are followed, so they should stop breaching the process, “ Isegbe advised exporters.
Also speaking, head of inspection, NAQS, South-West Zone, Ikeja, Dr. Moses Adewumi, made this known while destroying the food items in Lagos. According to him, under the international movement of agricultural produce and products, there were some standards to be met as domiciled in the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).
“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 that are trying to come into the business to be aware of phytosanitary certification. It states all the health issues of the commodities being exported,” Adewumi said.
He, however, called on exporters to always visit any quarantine office for procedures on exportation of perishable foods.
Dr. Dayo Folorunso, a scientist at the zonal office, Ikeja, said before planning for export, a farm must have good structure such as staff, toilet facility, storage, pack house, before coming to the quarantine office.
Folorunso said that there was the need for intending exporters to have cooling vans. He said that because some Nigerians like cutting corners, this was what led to the return of the consignments after getting to United Kingdom.
Folorunso urged exporters to desist from cutting corners when exporting goods, adding that such practice tarnished the image of Nigeria and also accumulate losses by the exporters.
He said that the export certificate of the defaulter would be suspended indefinitely to serve as deterrent to others.
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