The Republic of Ireland has rejected and returned five containers of beans exported from Nigeria after the products were received with heaps of weevils.
Minister of State for Agriculture, Heineken Lopobiri while inspecting the rejected agricultural product at the PTML Terminal, Tin Can Port Lagos on Tuesday, confirmed the return, and said that the containers were returned because heaps of weevils were detected in them by Republic of Ireland Quarantine Service.
Leadership reports that the Minister described the return of the containers as a national embarrassment, adding 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.
Hence forth, any agro-product leaving the country, has to be certified by the Quarantine Service, the Minister said, adding that this is the global practice, in US and other developed countries.
Nigeria is currently banned by the European Union from exporting beans. It is however 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.
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.
Lopobiri said that the present administration was trying as much as possible to encourage agriculture and exports, added that;
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 Cameroon, and Benin Republic.
So, we are trying to encourage as much export as possible so that we can substitute petrol-dollars to agro-dollars.