The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC)
says it will partner with the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) on the treatment of hibiscus to meet the international standards for exportation.
The NEPC Executive Director, Dr. Ezra Yakusak, disclosed this while inspecting a standard laboratory, fumigation centre, and other facilities for treatment of hibiscus at the Mu’min Foods and Drugs Limited, Kano, on Monday.
Yakusak said the council would discuss with NAQS to see how it could study the Mexican method of treating hibiscus developed by their indigenous engineers.
He said that the council would collaborate with the service to train more indigenous engineers on the new method.
The Executive Director added that it would also study and replicate the method in Nigeria, ”without the Mexicans coming to Nigeria to do it for them, as the method was not complicated.
“Some years ago, the foreign buyers of this product banned its import because of the pesticide they detected.
“NEPC had to intervene and I am so happy that now you see a fumigation centre here for treatment of hibiscus for export.”
He said that product rejection was the major problem of products exported from Nigeria.
“The problem is due to lack of appropriate certification, but now with this in place, we won’t have cases of hibiscus rejection.
“We will continue to encourage others to do the same, because the more you have these in place, the fewer product rejections you will have,” the NEPC executive director said.
He said that adopting the Mexican method would assist exporters to attract more foreign exchange into the Nigerian economy.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of the company, Alhaji Abdullahi Usman, said that it started operations some few years back, but now had become the country’s leading exporter of hibiscus.
Usman said that it fumigates at least 18 containers of hibiscus per day.
He said, ”Mexico is the major buyer of hibiscus from Nigeria, buying at least 70 percent and other countries buying the remaining 30 percent.
“Farming hibiscus flower brings money to the farmers easily. In Mexico, they produce about 50 different products with hibiscus,” he said.
Usman added that the company had engaged about 500 people, who were currently earning a living from the job.
The managing director, therefore, called on the government to support the company with a view to generating more jobs for people and earning more foreign exchange for the country.
“We need the government’s support because apart from Mexico, countries like Germany, USA, Brazil, Russia, Morocco, and Jordan buy hibiscus from our company,” he said.