By Gabriel Ewepu
FOLLOWING the recent return of vegetables exported to United Kingdom, UK, the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service, NAQS, Monday, suspended four exporters for disrespecting laid down procedures before exporting the product.
The Coordinating Director, NAQS, Dr Vincent Isegbe, disclosed in a chat with Vanguard, that the suspended companies have been exporting the product for over 10 years, adding that they by-passed it (NAQS) to make the export to UK.
He said: “The four vegetable exporters have been suspended as the first step, and we will carry out further investigations. They did not pass through us as an agency in charge of agricultural products, but went on to export the vegetables.
“What they did is embarrassing to the country upon the return of the vegetables they exported to UK because they want to make quick money from other items they had intention to make money from. We will not accept it and this must stop.
“They used the vegetable as cover up for the export of other items other than agricultural commodity.”
“The UK authority were not sure of the health and safety of the vegetables for their citizens to consume because there was no document certifying the vegetables condition from us as agency in charge of agricultural products import and export
“These are people who have been exporting vegetables for over 10 years and have been doing it according to our regulatory standards, but this time decided to do what is not expected of them.”
He also frowned at the way some government agencies at the ports clear products, particularly agricultural products, stressing that it was not their mandate to do so.