Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Federal Government has said it has commenced a thorough inspection of all vehicles, especially trucks ferrying agro commodities across the country.
The Coordinating Director, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS), Dr. Vincent Isegbe, in a statement signed by the Director of Media, Communication and Strategy, Gozie Nwodo, said the decision is to ensure that foodstuffs coming into the country are certified healthy for consumption.
He said: “Transporters must stop at quarantine control posts for agro-produce inspection. The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service wishes to remind the general public, especially dealers in agro-commodities, of the mandatory requirement to stop at the Quarantine Control Posts, along the Federal Highways for inspection of their goods.”
Isegbe said the reminder became necessary in the wake of increasing reports of the non-adherence of the truckers to the regulation to stop at the control posts for the inspection of their goods.
“For the avoidance of doubt, NAQS officers manning the control posts are under obligation to carry out compulsory checks on agricultural produce on Federal Highways. The purpose of the inspection is to improve disease surveillance and pest control as prescribed by the extant laws,” he added.
He said the requirements to stop at the NAQS control posts for inspection permits no exemption, adding that it is a product of series of consultations with stakeholders.
“NAQS warned that the ban on revenue collection on agricultural produce and agro-allied products by private consultants on the Federal Highways remains in force.
“Transporters of agricultural produce and dealers in agricultural produce are advised to procure loading/off-loading permits from only State Ministries of Agriculture at the state of origin, after inspection and certification.
“These documents shall be confirmed by NAQS at the Control Posts, with the issuance of movement permit and user fee receipt, subject to the payment of the stipulated charge for the service,” he concluded.