Reps seek restriction on import, export of agric commodities


Tariff row: China imports zero soybeans from U.S. in November
PHOTO CREDIT: Agricultural Wire


The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to restrict the inflow and outflow of agricultural commodities in the country.

The House said the checks on import and export of the commodities is to protect the country’s economy.

This resolution was passed at the plenary on Thursday following the unanimous adoption of a motion titled ‘Need to Control the Import and Export of Agricultural Commodities in Nigeria,’ as moved by Ibrahim Olarewaju.

Based on the adoption, the House mandated its Committees on Ports and Harbour; Aviation; and Agricultural Production and Services to “investigate the matter, to recommend to the government the need to have the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service back to the nation’s entry and exit points.”

The committees are to report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

Moving the motion, Olarewaju noted that exportation of agricultural commodities has become another source of revenue for Nigeria, besides oil, “and if properly harnessed could generate huge revenues and increase the nation’s Gross Domestic Products.”

According to the lawmaker, amid the premium agro-produce cultivated in Nigeria, a lot of the commodities are laying waste due to lack of export control at the entry and exit points.

He noted that implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area will strengthen Nigeria’s export and import mechanism.

He also noted that to effectively control import and export at the ports of entry and exit, the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service was established to serve as a single point of command and the first line of defence for all agricultural quarantine activities to ensure food security and enhance agro-export.

Olarewaju said, “The House is also concerned that the ban on exportation of dried beans to European countries was re-introduced in 2018, with its attendant loss of revenues to the country, which was a direct causation of the policy directive of the government in an attempt to efficiently control export, and ordered the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service to leave the ports based on government circular limiting some government agencies from operating at the ports to be able to achieve 48hrs clearance, and this was further compounded by Executive Order 1 on the Ease of Doing Business.”

The lawmaker stressed the need to earn more revenue from the export of Nigeria’s farm products.

Meanwhile, the House also on Thursday urged the National Directorate of Employment to “resuscitate, equip and put the Agricultural Training Centre in Awo, Egbedore Local Government of Osun State to use,” while mandating the Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity to ensure compliance with the resolution.