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It started in 2015,  as a minor trade disagreement that looked like it would soon be resolved. Some commitment was deployed into  find a wholistic intervention through the multi stakeholder zero reject initiative  under the then Minister for Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh and involving bodies like the EU and UNIDO

The EU food safety authority(EFSA) had in 2015 banned Nigerian beans because it contained between 0.3mg per kilogram and 4.6mg per kg of Dichlorvos, a pesticide when the maximum acceptable residue limit was 0.01 mg per kg.

It is now clear that all the effort could not yield any convincing result. If Nigeria could not satisfy the EU in 5 continuous years, then questions will be asked as to when and how all the money budgeted for workshops and other meetings was spent. And more importantly, why was the money NOT deployed in ways to guarantee set AIMS and OBJECTIVES. The President must ask questions from the relevant Hon Ministers





30 Jan 2021



With the need to increase the speed and reliability of detecting food fraud , some laboratories have developed e nose and e tongue and other devices that can capture the status of food on site. The era of laborious laboratory based analyses may be on its way out as research is now intensified on miniaturized, portable, hand held devices with the sensitivity expected.   Ellis and co researchers, in 2015, in a paper tagged “Point and Shoot…” delved much on this and similar issues on analyses in the Agri Food sector. The Safe Food and Feed Foundation has always proposed and supported all effort to make food testing easier for direct consumers. This will further enhance the quality of human health and international trade.  Now that many  stakeholders  are  thinking along this line,  achieving a global food safety, through  a rapid detection and quantification technique,  may be just near the next bend .

For more , please access

David I. Ellis, Howbeer Muhamadali , Simon A. Haughey , Christopher T. Elliott b and Royston Goodacre  2015. Point-and-shoot: rapid quantitative detection methods for on-site food fraud analysis – moving out of the laboratory and into the food supply chain DOI: 10.1039/C5AY02048D (Critical Review) Anal. Methods, 2015, 7, 9401-9414



When in 2015, the European Union placed a 1-year ban on Nigerian exported dried beans regarding the presence of pesticide at a level above the acceptable, little did anyone know the issue may not be easily resolved afterall. Even with the 3 year ban extension put in place in 2016, and the series of activities geared towards meeting the 2019 tyarget , it seems the ban is in place afterall.
A stakeholders meeting was held in May 2019 to review the ban and to conside possible lifting of same. Till date it seems a few unresolved issues are still outstanding

With the support of organizations like the UNIDO and a few international bodies,in packaging approving and implementing the ZERO-REJECT initiative, it becomes worrisome what are the EU still looking for. It is clear that the EU was not totally satisfied by the level of remedial measures Nigeria had and has been putting in place

One hopes that the ban issue is quickly resolved so as not to spill over to the year 2020, even when undeclared

Oct 2019


In May, 2019, the European Union began a series of talks to examine and assess the various measures put in place by Nigeria to escape further ban on the dried beans export to the EU. It will be recalled that Nigeria carried out some remedial inteventions aimed at enhancing the quality of agro produce for local consumption and export

The Zero reject initiative, supported by UNIDO and other partners is a combination of preventive and control strategies in this regards. The current ban is as a result of he detection of the pesticide, dichlorvos, at a level considered too hig for human consumptionAs the nation awaits the outcome of the meeting, which include officials of the FMARD and NAQS, Nigerians should expect a happy news that will return the exporters once more to business of fair international trade



Dele Fapohunda

June, 2019


Few weeks ago m the social mdia was awash with videos of some youths spraying what was understood to be DDVP on dried beans
The chemical also called dichlorvos, is the culprit that sentenced Nigeria to about 4 year ban from the European Union. It will be recalled that DICHLORVOS, has been declared not safe in a EU document published in 2012. Having considered human and environmental risk assessment, the chemical was labelled as ‘showing potential and unacceptable RISK’ as a biocidal chemical.
By next year, 2019, the ba on Nigerian dried beans in EU is due for review. The present incident will surely put in focus Nigeria s seriuosness and readiness about being brought back to engage in fair international agro-trade . Measures put in place wil be reviewed. These principally are captured under the ZERO REJECT initiative driven by Federal Ministriesm like Agric and Health; and Agencies like UNIDO

It is clear that more attention will have to be on Extension measures that will spread the new interventions aimed at wholesome agro produce for local consumption and export

Dele FRapohunda
Nov 2018


There s the European Partnership Agreement EPA, that is on offer between the Eu and West African countries

Proponents believe that most of the issues of unfair agro-trade between Nigeria and the Eu and other countries can be solved if Nigeria is on board. They claim that some of the advantage3s include

·         Duty free – Quota free exports to the EU = making West Africa a hub for global trade and investments;

·         Stable regulatory framework for investors, reduced cost of doing business in West Africa and improved environment for Foreign and National Direct Investment;

·         Job creation, especially in value added products and services benefiting to free access to Europe and regional market;

·         Less imports dependence through the strengthening of value chains and manufacturing       opportunities;

·         Lower prices for West African consumers and industries;

·         Safeguards for West African agriculture and infant industries;

·         Simple and advantageous rules of origin (necessary to enjoy preferential treatment);

·         Trade Facilitation and Co-operation in customs procedures, standards, sanitary and     phyto-sanitary requirements;

·         Co-ordination on major trade-related policies (competition, public contracts,     investments, telecoms and services);

·         An EPA Development programme (PAPED) focused on regional integration, trade             infrastructure and competitiveness for which the EU has already committed €6.5 billion.


For more details, please visit the source


It is known that an Integrated Export Control Plan has been recently finalised, with the support of UNIDO (under the National Quality Infrastructure EU-funded project), and signed by both Minister of Agric and Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment. Its implementation should start soon.

However, after the implementation has started, and proves to effectively address the issues that have brought to the ban on the EU imports of Nigerian beans, the Export Control Plan will be officially submitted to the European Commission that will assess whether the ban can be lifted and the exports of beans to the EU can resume. The whole process will still require some months, says a reliable source who was actively involved in the steps to guarantee wholesome food for export

The implication is that Nigeria is NOT yet ready to convince the EU of the need to revisit the ban. The bean was as a result of the presence of dichlorvos, a pesticide, in the exported dried form at levels above set EU standards.
The extended EU bean ban on Nigeria is expected to qualify for official revisit in 2019.


Aflatoxin in Nigeria=Commodities Certification Points coming

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture has been reported to have the intention of setting up Commodities Certification Centres in each of the 6 geopolitical zones of the country.

This is response to incessant complaints on the unacceptable levels of aflatoxin and pesticides in export agricultural commodities. For some years now The European Union has been frowning at unfair trade coming from Nigeria due to these contaminants. With the putting in place of these standard certification laboratories, it is hoped that compliance with global standards will be attained.

Melon, beans, and a few others have been implicated as notorious candidates for high levels of contaminants from Nigeria to the EU Nigeria

Nigeria places zero duties on agric equipment, lowers import duties on milk, packaging materials

NIGERIA – The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced a reduction in the import duties of 115 items in various sectors of the economy in a bid to promote development in critical sectors of the economy.

Through a circular, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said the move was in line with the provisions of the Economic Community of West African States’ Common External Tariff (CET).

The approval was given by President Muhammadu Buhari as part of the fiscal policy measures of the Federal Government for the country to boost the economy.

The ECOWAS CET, which will cover the 2017 to 2019 fiscal periods, is composed of three categories made up of an Import Adjustment Tax list of 173 tariff lines, a national list consisting of 91 items and an import prohibition list, which is applicable to certain goods originating from non-ECOWAS member states.

“This is to confirm that His Excellency, Mr. President, has approved the 2016 fiscal policy measures made up of the supplementary protection measures for implementation together with the ECOWAS CET 2015-2019 with effect from 17th of October, 2016.

“Consequently, all transactions prior to the effective date of this circular shall be subjected to the tariff rates applicable before the coming into effect of this 2016 fiscal policy measures.”

A number of imported food industry related products had the tax rate decreased in the new directive, providing a critical reprieve to importers of such products, who have faced higher costs related to a devalued local currency Naira and a shortage of forex in the country.

The items include milk and cream; tea; fats of sheep or goat; malt extract; tomatoes prepared or preserved by vinegar; prepared glues and adhesives; synthetic organic colouring matter; denatured ethyl alcohol for medical, pharmaceutical or scientific purpose, whose import duties were reduced from 10 per cent to five per cent.

The government also approved a reduction of the applicable tax rate from 10 per cent to five per cent for tubes, pipes, hoses, sheets, foil, tape, polyethylene, paper and paper board.

A reduction on import tax on packaging will bode well for the food industry, which has seen a huge rise in the cost of packaging since the economic recession hit the country in 2016.

The circular also approved a zero per cent import duty for machineries and equipment used in sectors such as agriculture, cement, hospitality, power, iron and steel, solid minerals, textile and aviation. Before the approval, the import duties for machinery and equipment used in these sectors were set at five per cent.

However, the circular also reinforced the ban placed on the importation of some items, including refined vegetable oil, cocoa butter, spaghetti/noodles, fruit juice in retail packs, corrugated paper and paper boards, water, and liquid dietary supplements.