The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service and the Nigeria Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, two Federal Government organizations, have reached an agreement to work together to facilitate trade and protect Nigeria’s agricultural exports and economy.
According to The PUNCH, partners in the transaction made this announcement on Sunday in Abuja, claiming that it was the result of a high-level meeting between the managing director of OGFZA, Bamanga Jada, and the acting comptroller-general of NAQS, Dr. Godwin Audu.
According to an agency release, Audu stated during the meeting that the NAQS was dedicated to advancing commerce, safeguarding Nigeria’s agricultural economy, and enforcing international phytosanitary standards.
The NAQS, he stated, was “prepared to assist exporters in fulfilling these requirements, enabling a smooth process for those who adhere to regulatory requirements.”
“In our quest for economic expansion and agricultural prosperity, NAQS is unwavering in its dedication to advancing trade while safeguarding the integrity of our agricultural industry,” stated Audu.
“We are dedicated to giving exporters and importers the necessary direction and support to effectively navigate regulatory processes. We recognize the importance of facilitating exports and imports.”
In addition, Audu emphasized NAQS’s readiness to collaborate closely with OGFZA, providing direction and details on import and export processes. Audu also mentioned that exporters must pay the user fee as a token of appreciation for the services NAQS provides.
In a statement released in Abuja, Audu’s Media Communications and Strategies department head, Akanji Joshua, announced the establishment of an enforcement section within the agency.
“He (Audu) announced the creation of the Operations and Enforcement Department within the agency, which will oversee seamless operations, minimize needless seizures, and enforce seizures judiciously,” the statement said in part.
Additionally, the head of NAQS placed more than 100 agency personnel after they were elevated to the position of Assistant Superintendent of Quarantine I, which the service said was a part of efforts to boost the morale of workers.
Human capital development would now be prioritized, according to Audu, who also urged staff members to recommit to the work of repositioning the agency to better serve its various stakeholders.
He said adherence to the Act creating the agency and also being acquainted with international norms will go a long way in boosting the ease of doing business.
He went on to say that efforts were being made to comply with EU regulations regarding product exports, noting that this development would undoubtedly prevent Nigerian items from being rejected by EU nations in the near future.