The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) has set up an operations and enforcement department within the agency, which will oversee seamless operations and adhere to the guidelines of European Union (EU) exportation to avert product rejection and unnecessary seizures.
The Acting Comptroller General of NAQS, Godwin Sunday Audu, announced the establishment during the maiden meeting with station and zonal coordinators held at the headquarters in Abuja, where the agency promoted over one hundred officers to Assistant Superintendent of Quarantine I (ASQ I).
NAQS, as a regulatory agency under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, was created to promote and regulate harmonization of plant, veterinary, and aquatic resources (fisheries) in connection with the import and export of agricultural products with a view to minimizing the risk to the agricultural economy, food safety, and the environment.
The agency, in collaboration with key stakeholders, undertakes protocols to control and prevent the introduction, establishment, and spread of animal and zoonotic diseases, as well as pests of plants and fisheries, including their products.
Audu disclosed that efforts are being made to adhere to the European Union (EU) requirements for the exportation of products, stating that the development will no doubt avert the imminent rejection of Nigerian products by EU countries.
The Quarantine Boss noted that adherence to the Act establishing the agency and also being conversant with international standards will go a long way in promoting the ease of doing business, while calling on the staff to rededicate themselves to the task of repositioning the agency to better serve the diverse stakeholders.
He assured the staff of his administration’s open-door policy, which will give room for innovative ideas, stressing that the development will contribute to growing the agency and adding that human capital development will be a priority for the service under his leadership.