The Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), says Nigeria charges one of the lowest fees for the inspection and certification of agricultural produce for export on the continent.
Dr Chigozie Nwodo, the Head of Media, Communication and Strategies Unit, NAQS disclosed this in Abuja.
Nwodo said that the agency was reaction to allegation by some unknown group claiming that the NAQS charged “the most outrageous’’ fee of N5, 000 per kg of agricultural produce packaged for export.
“The claim that the exorbitant rate supposedly deters Nigerian exporters and drives them to take their cargoes to a neighbouring country for export and this claim is transparently false and beggar’s belief.
“The truth is that anybody who is conversant with the valid terms for the export of agricultural commodities will take this claim with a pinch of salt,’’ he said.
Nwodo explained that all user fees chargeable by the agency in connection with the export of plant, animal and aquatic items were clearly listed on the NAQS website.
“We consider it most uncharitable that the agency would be accused of levying N5,000 per kg of agricultural produce when we charge less than that amount for a full 20-feet container.
“Our solid commitment to encouraging and facilitating agriculture-based export was reflected in the last Presidential Enabling Business Council (PEBEC) report which ranked NAQS as the Second Most Improved MDA,’’ Nwodo said.
He, therefore, urged the public to discountenance the untruth that NAQS charges unreasonably high fees.
Nwodo added that contrary to the report, NAQS user fees charged by Nigeria for the inspection and certification of agricultural items were actually one of the lowest on the continent.
Source: Voice Of Nigeria