The Committees on Agriculture, Commerce and Industry have been mandated by the House of Representatives to investigate the extension of the ban on the exportation of Nigeria’s dried beans into European countries.
This was due to a motion by Rep. Ferdinand Nwankwo (PDP-Anambra) under matters of urgent public importance on Wednesday, which was unanimously adopted by members through a voice vote.
Moving the motion, Nwankwo explained that in June 2015, the European Union banned the exportation of dried beans from Nigeria on the ground that the produce contained a high level of pesticide considered hazardous to human health.
Nwankwo said that the ban was to last until June 30, 2016, to allow Nigerian authorities time to provide an export control plan and assurance that the beans exported complied with EU Minimal Risk Level for Hazardous Substances.
“Several relevant agencies of Government including Standard Organisation of Nigeria, NAFDAC and Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment claimed to be collaborating with each other to resolve the issue before the close of the deadline,” he said.
Nwankwo further noted that the alleged reason for the extension was that Nigeria did not do enough to lift the ban during the period of suspension.
The legislator also expressed concern over the effect of the extended ban of dried beans export on the Nigerian economy, especially as the current administration was focused on diversifying the economy through export of agricultural products.
The House, therefore, mandated the committees to report findings to it within two weeks for further legislative action.