The Federal Government has said it is investigating how yam said to be of poor quality was exported from Nigeria to the United States.
This is after the US rejected yam exports from Nigeria because of their poor quality, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh said.
On June 29, Nigeria started to export yams to Europe and the United States, as part of moves to diversify its oil-dependent economy and earn much-needed foreign exchange.
Mr. Ogbeh had represented the acting president at the time, Yemi Osinbajo, to flag off the export of yam to Europe.
He had a day earlier informed State House correspondents that 72 tonnes of yam would be exported in the first phase of the programme to the United Kingdom.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Customs Service, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) were charged with the responsibility of ensuring that yams exported were properly checked and certified.
Others are Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC).
Speaking on Wednesday after the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, the Agriculture Minister said the yam exported to the US was bad, adding that his Ministry would investigate the matter.
His words: “I have been mandated to brief on one or two developments in the agricultural sector. One, is a new development about the consignment of yams which was exported from here to the US which according to report we heard today, was found to be of poor quality.
“The ministry will investigate because the ministry is not an exporter; exporters are private sector people. We will investigate both the company that exported it and asked our quarantine department to check and find out why such a consignment left here.’’
Meanwhile, the National President of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Aminu Goronyo, yesterday said in the next few months, a 50kg bag of rice would be sold at the rate of N6000.