Business Hilights
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EU may lift ban on Nigerian agro products as FG sets up ‘Zero reject’ scheme

Indication emerged weekend that the European Union (EU) which placed a ban on select agro products from Nigeria on grounds of poisonous contents earlier in the year may lift the ban if the recently launched ‘Zero Rejects’ of agro commodities is followed with streamlined specifications.

The federal government recently launched ‘Zero Rejects’ of agro commodities through validation of strategy for a single management control system for acceptance of Nigerian produce in the world market.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, while signing the validation documents, made it clear that “In a globalised world, and in this era of free trade, nothing is more embarrassing and tragic than to have Nigerian goods and food items rejected in the world market.”

It would be recalled that the validation committee of agro commodities was put together by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, following the rejection and ban of dry beans exported from Nigeria to the European Union (EU) and its member states for not meeting international standards.

Already, exporters of agro products have started welcoming the new scheme, saying if the documents were implemented quickly to give the country advantage in agro commodities export; more jobs will be created as export of goods will rise.

The exporters however are crying on to the government to see how the time it takes to process documents before shipping agro products can be reduced to limit the chances of perishable products going bad before reaching export destination.

An exporter of vegetable told Business Hilights under anonymity that “It was due to the delays at ports owing to checks by uncountable federal government agencies that always cause products to damage even before getting to destinations.

He was quick to add that “It was this sad experience that forced exporters to start treating products with dangerous chemicals which was dictated by the EU and Nigerian agro products were banned”.