Our oil-dependent economy which is currently doing slow motion to a state of comatose is about to receive speed. The European Union has just suspended some agricultural food exports from Nigeria. The food items banned from Europe till
June 2016 are beans, sesame seeds, melon seeds, dried fish and meat, peanut chips and palm oil.
According to the European Food Safety Authority, the rejected beans were found to contain between 0.03mg to 4.6mg/kg of dichlorvos pesticide, when the acceptable maximum residue limit is 0.01mg/kg. The embargo is a reflection of our inability to adhere to global standards, and this has come to haunt us at the international level again.
For some time, the EU has been warning Nigeria that the items constitute danger to human health because they “contain a high level of unauthorized pesticide. The pesticide is applied when the products are being prepared for export. The EU said it had issued 50 notifications to Nigerian beans exporters since January 2013. It is baffling that the Nigerian authorities didn’t take any significant steps to reverse the situation.
Likewise, the United Kingdom also issued 13 border rejection alerts to Nigerian beans exporters between January and June 2015. It confounds many that this problem has been with us for some time and nothing strategic has been done to deal with the situation. In 2013 for instance, 24 commodities of Nigerian origin exported to the UK were rejected, while the figure climbed to 42 food products in 2014. .
The excuse by Paul Orhii, the DG of NAFDAC, that exporters caused the problem by not complying with regulatory requirements for semi-processed and processed commodities is untenable. NAFDAC has not conducted its regulatory oversight properly. The Ministry of Agriculture did not pay sufficient attention to the problem either…. all “ewa agonyin” lovers r officially in soup. Devil pls forgive us for always blaming u as d cause of all unexplainable cancers. Now we kno better….. Credit: PUNCH