The ban by the European Union (EU) on importation of dried beans from Nigeria has been extended by three years, an official said on Thursday.
Vincent Isegbe, Coordinating Director of the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service, told reporters the ban was extended by the EU because Nigeria was unable to provide substantial guarantees that adequate official control systems have been put in place to ensure compliance with food law requirements.
Dried beans from Nigeria were reported to have contained high level of pesticides considered to be dangerous to human health, causing the EU to slam an export suspension measure on it in June last year.
Isegbe noted the extension came when the Nigerian government and its relevant agencies were working to ensure that the deadline given by the EU to lift the ban was met.
Quoting an official journal of the EU, which accused Nigeria of not doing enough to lift the ban during the initial period of suspension, the official said "the continued presence of dichlorvos (pesticide) in dried beans imported from Nigeria and maximum residue levels of pesticides show that compliance with food law requirement as regards pesticide residual cannot be achieved in the short term".
Isegbe said the extension would give Nigeria the opportunity for its stakeholders to put their hands together to correct the mistake. He also urged local farmers to do the needful from the farming stage and ensure that "the latest development did not repeat itself".