Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service

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Dr. Mike Kanayochukwu Nwaneri

When Dr. Mike Nwaneri immediately settled down to serious work having understood the enormity of the challenges facing him as the defacto Coordinating Director.

  1. One of his concerns was the Rejection of Nigeria’s Exports in the international market.
  2. Exports by the Nation’s International Trading Partners”, highlighted the fact that the trend of exporters using forged Phytosanitry Certificates was on the increase, as a result of the expulsion of NAQS Inspectors from the seaports.
  3. An opportunity came his way in the Single Window Project anchored by the Nigeria Customs Service. He cashed in on this opportunity, committed resources and got NAQS officers fully integrated into the Single Window with the kind assistance of the Hon Minister of Agriculture Dr. Akinwumi Adesina. He built from scratch ICT infrastructure, working with Galaxybackbone to provide internet facility and host a robust website that has never exited before his becoming the Coordinating Director. He provided human and material resources for interface with National Single Window coordinated by Nigeria Customs Service. As a result NAQS officers started receiving alerts and thereby opening the road for NAQS Inspectors to return to the seaports and carry out inspections on agricultural products of our interest upon receipt of Customs alerts. This was possible due to NAQS collaboration with authorities in the Ministries of Finance, Transport and NPA.
  4. , The Coordinating Director followed up by securing the approval of the Honorable Minister of Agriculture to build ICT infrastructure from the scratch, develop functioning website hosted by Galaxybackbone (NAQS Webb address is www.naqs.gov.ng,)
  5. Dr. Mike Nwaneri through his peaceful but persuasive approach, got the Aquatic Resources Department entrenched into carrying out their statutory duties by signing an MOU with their erstwhile parent Department in the Ministry. This kick started the drive by the AQR Department to add to the growth of their activities in NAQS.
  6. In the area of publicity, NAQS public image blossomed under Dr. Mike Nwaneri when for the first time in the History of Quarantine Service in Nigeria, positive news of the activities and potentials of NQAS appeared in our daily newspapers. First, also was when the voice of Dr. Nwaneri came life on FRCN speaking out for the service. He did not stop at that but went on to commission the NAQS jingles in English and 3 major Nigerian languages which is currently being aired on FRCN.
  7. Dr. Mike Nwaneri’s love for excellence got him to look the way of perfecting the progress NAQS was making in Fresh vegetable export. He paid personal visit to the farmers at Lagos and got NTA to document and showcase to the world the effort of NAQS officers who through collaboration with the vegetable farmers and exporters have successfully been exporting vegetables to UK and other European countries and earning huge amount of foreign exchange. A compact Disc documentary of our vegetable export is there to show for it and Nigerians should note that about $280, 000 is being earned monthly from this enterprise.
  8. It is worthy of note that Nwaneri made tremendous inroad into NAQS Collaboration and relationship with Sister Security and regulatory agencies. Through this collaboration, NAQS started receiving invitation letters to attend meetings, workshops, seminars etc. NAQS also became prominent in the Presidential Committee on Airport Security. Furthermore, Nwaneri during one of his international engagements, met with a Global Organization based in UK called “Plant Wise”. He late got the organization to sign an agreement with NAQS to establish Plant Clinics in the country. These Plant Clinics will give farmers access to rapid diagnosis of plant health problems and prescription of appropriate remedies. NAQS officers will be trained fully by Plant wise to manage these plant Clinics in the days to come. Consequent upon the signing of the agreement, Messrs.’ Plant Wise is assisting NAQS to seek foreign donors to fund the program.
  9. As part of his advocacy also, he secured the services of a Toximet Systen of UK to supply 3 Toxiquant Machines to NAQS. This equipment delivers the latest technology for Mycotoxin analysis. The machines have been calibrated to detect Mycotoxin in our local exportable agricultural commodities. The owners of the equipment’s Messrs Toximet will within the month visit Nigeria to install the equipment’s and train NAQS officers to maintain them and take full control. These equipment will match their equals worldwide and will help put a stop to issues of Aflatoxin in our agricultural commodities exports.
  10. In a related manner, the Coordinating Director secured approval of the Honorable Minister to invite UK based Global G.A.P to Nigeria for the first time ever to train 30 officers in farm certification and guidance of farmers to produce for exports. Officers so trained could go ahead to become Global G.A.P accredited farm auditors, This is a Singular feat as Global GAP has made several unsuccessful attempts to come into Nigeria.
  11. His latest achievement in online application of Phytosanitary Certificates will put a stop to all issues of forgery of Phytosanitary Certificates. The relevant stakeholders and indeed the world hailed him on this singular achievement as NAQS has been battling with issues of unscrupulous exporters conducting illegal exports with forged Phytosanitary Certificates thereby damaging the image of the country in international trade.
  12. To complement the modernization of online Phytosanitary application procedure in the export of our products and in line with International requirements, he secured the approval of the Honorable Minister to appoint Service Providers to carry out Quarantine Treatment. This will ensure that Agricultural commodities are properly treated before export and will reduce to the barest minimum, issues of rejection alerts on our products.
  13. He was fully committed to the welfare and wellbeing of his staff. Nwaneri paid staff claims promptly. He also paid to the surprise of many, monies that were due to some departed colleagues. Dr. Nwaneri for the first time in NAQS and for 2 years running arranged for across the board training of all his staff at the Head Quarters. This was because he understood the importance of capacity building. Several staff of NAQS also attended courses abroad in one field or the other, during the tenor of this great man.
  14. He carried out one of the most successful redeployment of NAQS officers in the fields. This brought about stability and openness in the conduct of our operations at the various entry points.
  15. NAQS has never had it so good Dr. Mike Nwaneri secured authorized Establishment positions for the promotion of NAQS staff. For the first time NAQS officers sat for the Civil Service Promotion and were not hindered by lack of vacancies. May GOD in his infinite mercy bless this man.
  16. In the Technical areas of the Job, Dr. Mike Nwaneri understood that the vital tools to carry out Quarantine activities were in the establishment of technical infrastructure and training in the relevant areas. He ensured that NAQS staffs were trained in:
    • Pest Risk Analysis
    • Basic Concepts in Aquatic Resources Management
    • Training on Fruit Fly Control etc
    • Single Window training by Customs
    • In a related manner, Aquatic Resources and Plant Quarantine Departments were able to develop (SOP) Standard Operating Procedure manuals for their staff. These manuals will greatly improve the technical ability of the staff, and promote a harmonized mode of operation in all NAQS locations
  17. Pest Surveys were carried out and the technical documents have been produced on the survey reports for Rice and Cashew. That for Ginger is ongoing. It is also expected that the Pest Survey on Cassava and Yam will be concluded this year
  18. Farmer’s field meeting was organized in Idiroko in collaboration with IITA for the sensitization on the dangers of the new emerging Banana Bunchy Top disease
  19. Dr. Mike Nwaneri and his team at the latest ISPM meeting in Rome initiated the long overdue registration of Nigerian ISPM 15 Logo with the secretariat of IPPC. This will authenticate NAQS certification of Solid Wood Packaging and hard wood export
  20. NAQS has been involved with IITA in the ongoing effort for the containment of Banana Bunchy Top Virus

INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT:

Under Dr. Nwaneri’s administration, the following infrastructure was put in place:

  1. South West:
    • Remodelled the Fish house in NAHCO SHED to accommodate Vegetable export processing and landscaping. He also procured a generator and transformer for the fish house
    • Completion of two abandoned buildings in Idiroko which has offices and a laboratory and can accommodate up to 26 officers
    • Renovated the laboratory in Ikeja and installed the High- Powered liquid Profile Chromatography (HPLC)
    • Procured a Generating Set for NAQS office in Ohumbe
    • Rehabilitated NAQS office in Seme
    • Secured approval for award of contract for remodeling the NAQS Zonal office to a one story building with meeting Hall and offices
  2. South East:
    • Built and fully equipped one laboratory each for Aquatic Resources and Animal Quarantine
    • Constructed a vegetable processing Lounge for Port Harcourt
    • Opened NAQS offices in Ikom and Nfum
    • Opened and equipped the NAQS office at Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu
  3. Ibadan:
    • Once the glory of NAQS, the Post Entry Quarantine Station was at its lowest ebb upon the takeover of Dr. Mike Nwaneri. He visited the Station and immediately went into action and completely renovated the dilapidated buildings. Painted and re-equipped the laboratories
    • Refurbished the Green houses and provided enough funds for diesel to power the generators
    • Completely remodeled both the Hostel and training Auditorium with full facilities
  4. North West:
    • Reconfiguration the Zonal office and changed the entire roof top
    • Provided a borehole and toilets for the office
    • Constructed a Vegetable lounge for the Zone
    • Completed the labour line / Animal clinic for Animal Quarantine station at Ngogo Kano state
    • Renovated the Laboratory building at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport Abuja as well as the staff living quarters