The Nigerian government will soon establish a world-class Federal Produce Inspection Service (FPIS) laboratory to test all export-bound agricultural commodities.
The tests will be conducted for aflatoxins, to gauge moisture content in grains and to issue certifications in compliance with the microbiological stipulations of the country’s export markets.
The move is designed to ensure compliance with European Union (EU) standard certification procedures following its decision to ban Nigerian agricultural imports such as beans, sesame seeds, melon seeds, dried fish, meat, peanut chips and palm oil due to non-compliance with public health regulations.
Addressing delegates at a recent conference that discussed the improvement of agricultural commodities inspection and certifications, Nigerian Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Omololu Opeewe said the laboratory would reduce the volumes of Nigerian agricultural products that are rejected in export markets due to contamination and quality concerns.
“Electronic certificates issued by the FPIS on quality, fumigation, packaging and weight will be linked strategically online with all the other regulatory agencies like the Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service, Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Export Promotion Council,” Opeewe said.
Localising scientific testing and standards inspections would help improve the quality of export products and restore Nigeria’s reputation as a global agricultural produce exporter, said the minister.
Further, Opeewe said the Nigerian government is working on the automation of the certification process of the FPIS in order to guarantee transparency, speed and efficiency.