By Adelola Amihere
Transporters of agro commodities must stop at any quarantine control posts along the Federal Highways for inspection of their goods, the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service NAQS has said.
In a statement signed by Dr C. P. Nwodo, Head, Media, Communications and Strategies, the reminder become necessary in the wake of increasing reports of the non-adherence of the truckers to the regulation to stop at the control posts for the inspection of their goods.
The statement read in part: “For the avoidance of doubt, NAQS officers who are manning the control posts are under obligation to carry out compulsory checks on agricultural produce on Federal Highways. The purpose of the inspection is to improve disease surveillance and pest control as prescribed by the extant laws.
“NAQS reiterates that the requirement to stop at the NAQS Quarantine Control Posts for inspection permits no exemption. It is also a product of series of consultations with stakeholders.
“The amounts chargeable by the NAQS for inspection of different categories of agricultural produce are available on NAQS website. Payments are receipted and no transporter or animal owner is required to pay another levy at any other control post or check point as far as he or she is able to produce evidence of having paid such fee in any post along the Federal Highways.”
It also warned that the ban on revenue collection on agricultural produce and agro-allied products by private consultants on the Federal Highways remains in force as any levy collected by individuals contracted by state governments are illegal.
Accordingly, “All transporters of agricultural produce and dealers in agricultural produce are advised to procure loading/off-loading permits from only State Ministries of Agriculture at the state of origin after inspection and certification.
“These documents shall be confirmed by NAQS at the Control Posts with the issuance of movement permit and user fee receipt subject to the payment of the stipulated charge for the service.”