The Vice President of Nigeria Agribusiness Group, NABG, Emmanuel Ijewere, has called on government agencies to synergise on regulating agricultural commodities for both local consumption and export.
Ijewere who expressed concern over regulatory agencies working in silos said it does not really help agribusiness in Nigeria, which most people do not understand what the processes are and what the importing countries expect from them as standard.
He also said producers should first produce standard products for local consumption first before thinking export, as it will be an assessment for them to know whether internationally such commodities will meet standards of the importing countries.
According to him, Nigerians need to produce to high standards for Nigerians first, which entails making it a practice or way of life, and when it is good enough and meets those standards then such commodities can be exported.
“That is why the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service, NAQS, should add to it that they educate these people who want to export. Let them start from home, let them work with National Administration for Food and Drug Control, NAFDAC, and Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, that these are the standards Nigerians deserve and once Nigerians deserve it then we can now start talking of standards people want abroad, and all these will address the issue of rejection of export commodities from Nigeria.
“These agencies should stop working in silos, but they should work together and come up with one message to reinvent and reset Nigeria.”
He also decried the anxious attitude of Nigerians who just want to start exporting commodities without considering the procedures involved in the export business.
“Like I said what is driving people is the foreign exchange not the name of Nigeria because once they have imported from countries through the back door because to get things out of here is not difficult, which they cut corners through bribery but forgetting that the negative effect is not directly on them but the name of Nigeria”, he stated.
By Ebikiseiye Thompson