The House of Representatives has passed a motion directing its Committees on Agricultural Production and Services and Customs and Excise to investigate the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh on why the law prohibiting yam exportation was flouted.
The house has also asked the Comptroller-General of Customs, Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Director General of the Standards Organization of Nigeria, Head of the Nigerian Quarantine Service and heads of all other relevant agencies to provide reasons why they granted license for food products prohibited from exportation.
The resolution of the house came on the heels of a motion moved by Gaza Gbefwi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi state who noted that a recent report revealed that about 72 tonnes of yam tubers exported to the United States of America in June this year were rejected, having found to have rotted upon arrival.
Gbefwi described the report as a great embarrassment to the nation alleging that it is now obvious that agriculture produce approved for exports by the government do not meet world standards.
In a related development, the House of Representatives supported a motion sponsored by two of its members, Kingsley Onwubuariri and Munir Agundi to investigate the importation of genetically-modified maize into the country.
It therefore mandated the Committees on Agricultural Production and Services, and Customs and Excise to investigate how genetically-modified maize was imported without clearance from the National Biosafety Management Agency and report back to the house within eight weeks for further legislative action.
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 the country.