The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, has lauded the rapid and efficient operationalization of the paramilitary structure of the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS).
At the first rank adjustment ceremony held by NAQS in Abuja recently, Dr. Abubakar noted that ‘’the swift maturing of the enforcement compliance capacity of NAQS will go a long way in brightening the prospects of food security and agricultural trade in Nigeria’’.
A statement by the Head of media, communication and strategies of the Service, Dr Chigozie Nwodo, explained that the minister commended the pioneer Comptroller General, NAQS, Dr. Vincent Isegbe, for his institutional approach to developing the agency’s ability to execute its multifaceted mandate as a research-based body, facilitator of international trade in Nigeria’s food and agricultural products and the first line of defense against pests of economic importance.
Explaining why the enabling law of the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (Establishment) (NAQS) Act, 2018 established its paramilitary orientation, Dr. Isegbe said that NAQS is ‘’the single point of command for all agricultural quarantine activities and administration in Nigeria. It has a statutory science-based pest exclusion mandate. And the effective discharge of this mandate depends on adequate, ready, and deployable enforcement compliance. Thus, a healthy paramilitary temper governed by professionalism is integral to the mission of NAQS.’’
The Comptroller General noted that NAQS inspects foreign-arriving passengers, baggage, and cargo. It denies entry to, destroys, or treats potentially harmful or prohibited animals, fruits, vegetables, and plant materials. The Agency safeguards Nigerian agriculture against plant and animal pests and diseases entering the Nigerian borders on foreign-arriving vessels, airplanes, trains, and automobiles.
It further said that Dr. Isegbe thanked the Honourable Minister for giving kind consideration to the overwhelming need in the Agency and approving the Rank Adjustment.
The promoted officers represent a crop of fine NAQS officers who have demonstrated consistent brilliance and excellence in their duties and additional assignments.
source: Authority News Paper