BEVERLY HILLS, October 11, (THEWILL) – The House of Representatives on Wednesday mandated its Committee on Agricultural Production and Services as well as the Committee on Customs and Excise to probe the export of rotten yams to the United States.
The committees were directed to invite the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, to explain why the law prohibiting the exportation of yam tubers was flagrantly disregarded, even as the yams were rejected upon delivery, because several of them going bad.
Also to be invited are the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), the Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Segun Awolowo, the Director General of the Standards Organization of Nigeria, Osita Aboloma and Head of the Nigerian Quarantine Service.
The House gave this mandate following the adoption of a motion entitled: “Need to Determine Why Food Products Prohibited from Exportation are Exported and also do not Meet International Standards”, sponsored by Gaza Jonathan Ghefwi.
THEWILL recalls that the federal government had, in June, exported a large consignment of yams to Europe and America, seeking to improve revenue from non-oil export.
But leading the debate on the motion, Ghefwi faulted the explanation given by the minister
on Tuesday that the yams went bad as a result of the long distance between Nigeria and the US.
He wondered why the current administration chose to break the law by overlooking the fact that, the schedule of the Export (Prohibition) Act, Cap. E22, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 lists Beans, Cassava tuber, Maize, Rice, Yam tuber and their product derivatives as goods absolutely prohibited from exportation from Nigeria.
The lawmaker insisted that it would have been better the federal government followed due process by waiting for the bill seeking to repeal the provisions of the Export Prohibition Act, to be passed by the National Assembly, rather than flout an existing law.