Thursday, 12 October 2017

Audu Ogbeh to face probe for exporting yams – House of Reps

The House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Agricultural Production and Services and Customs and Excise to investigate the Federal Ministry of Agriculture regarding the exportation of yam – alleging that the ministry disregarded the law prohibiting the exportation of yam tubers.

Others expected to be probed were Comptroller-General of Customs and the Executive Director, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Director-General, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Head, Nigerian Quarantine Service and heads of all other relevant agencies.

In June, Nigeria exported yams to China, United Kingdom and the U.S. as part of efforts to diversify the economy – more income from the agricultural sector.

However, United States rejected  the yams due to poor quality.

The decision of the House followed a motion by Rep. Jonathan Gaza (Nasarawa-APC).

The lawmaker had moved a motion on the “Need to Determine Why Food Products Prohibited from Exportation is being exported and also did not meet international standards.’’

Gaza said the exported, rotten yams had raised concern about the capacity of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to check the quality of goods billed for export.

According to him, the development also called to question the safety of food approved for local consumption by those MDAs.

“It is now obvious that produce approved for export by the government do not meet with world standards for exportation.’’

“The (Prohibition) Act, Cap. E22, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 lists Beans, Cassava tuber, Maize, Rice, Yam tuber and their product derivatives as goods absolutely prohibited from exportation from Nigeria. A Bill for an Act to repeal the provisions of the Export Prohibition Act has recently passed second reading in the House.’’

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