— Vows to punish defaulters
The inter-ministerial technical committee formulated and saddled with the responsibility of tackling the matters has submitted its recommendations, which stipulates a benchmark for all agro product and non-oil exports of agricultural commodities.
This move will save Nigeria from further embarrassment over the international market rejection of its agricultural commodities and other non-oil exports.
The Committee which was chaired by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, reiterated government’s determination to achieve zero reject of the country’s agricultural commodities and other non-oil exports at the global market.
This was made known on Tuesday in Abuja at the high level meeting on the validation of Nigeria’s strategy for a single quality control management system and plan for zero reject of agricultural commodities and produce/non-oil exports.
According to the Minister, Nigeria cannot afford to have a different standard of quality control than what the global benchmark is. He affirmed that henceforth, every agricultural commodity meant for export will be subjected to measures that have been worked out to ensure that the country is not further embarrassed by the global community on account of substandard exports materials.
Ogbeh noted that the benchmark therefore is acceptable global standard. “Let me emphasise that I will be quick to say that the time for us all to recognise that there is only one standard is now. Given that the only acceptable standard is the global/international standard.
“There can be no other choice of standard before us. We must cultivate and embrace the international standard as the benchmark for our agro and non-oil exports to enhance our global competitiveness,” he added.
He also stressed that punitive measures will be meted out to everyone that compromises the standards and quality control measures that have been put in place.
Speaking earlier, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo on Trade and Investment stated that the national quality infrastructure was underway to addressing the situation at the global market that is really causing untold embarrassment to Nigeria.
She noted that Nigerian agricultural commodities cannot continue to carry other country’s label, for sake of the negative status, which the country has acquired on the account of fake and adulterated non-oil exports.