Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has “let the cat let the cat out of the bag” as he revealed the Federal Government’s plan in conjunction with the Government of the Netherlands towards improving seeds/seedlings to upscale food production in the country.
These plans were disclosed by the minister during a courtesy visit to Abuja by a delegation of private investors, led by Amb. Marion Kappeyne, who is the Netherlands’ Ambassador to Nigeria.
With the knowledge that Nigeria spends above $60 million on fish importation on a yearly basis, Ogbeh who expressed dissatisfaction about the outrageous figures further advocated for the Netherlands government to help boost the country’s week areas of research, cattle breeding and aquaculture, which all fall under the umbrella of agriculture.
He stressed that the ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, had set up agro rangers to make provision of security for Nigerian farmers, as part of the government’s commitment to create an enabling environment for both public and private sectors in the agricultural sector.
Kappeyne said the delegation was in the ministry to explore areas of collaboration for the development of the agricultural sector.
Thereafter, he hinted that collaboration would be of huge advantage to the country as it would help make significant improvements in areas of seeds, horticulture, aquaculture, poultry and nutrition and he also divulged the Netherlands government’s willingness to give the country necessary support on its agricultural revolution to change the country from being food importers to active food exporters that could inturn transform the present state of the economy.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) has refuted claims by exporters in the airfreight business that the agency was charging N5,000 for every kilo of exported Agricultural produce.
On the other hand, in a statement signed and released by the NAQS spokesperson, Dr Nwodo confirmed that the Agency under any circumstance did not demand charges outside the approved fees, as it charges less than that amount for a full 20-feet container.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all user fees chargeable by the agency in connection with the export of plant, animal and aquatic items are clearly listed on the NAQS’s website. The comprehensive lists of the fees were first published in 2017 and they have remained accessible till date,” the agency said.
The statement also added that the fees were integrated into the text of the agency’s Service Level Agreement as they are public documents found on their website links via the internet.