By Hillary Asemota
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammed Abubakar has said that Nigeria once earned N35 million from Mexico in 9 months, from export of 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico.
He therefore stressed
that the Federal Government would revive economic ties with Mexico stating that it will lead to robust diplomatic relationship, strategic trading as well as rewarding traffic for trade.
The Minister made this known when he received the delegation led by the Mexican Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Alfredo Miranda in his office in Abuja, recently.
He stated that Mexico is not just another country that Nigeria has good diplomatic relations with, but also a strategic trading partner and the biggest importer of the country’s hibiscus.
Abubakar pointed out that: “It is regrettable that the suspension of hibiscus trade lasted for nearly three years longer than it should and resulted in a slowdown of the momentum of export activities around hibiscus”.
The Minister also revealed that period was used to decisively overcome the proximate cause of the suspension of export, ‘’ the days of khapra beetle infestation of some of the hibiscus consignments are behind us’’
He pledged that the ministry would work closely with off takers and exporters through the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) to facilitate the building of chambers dedicated to methyl bromide fumigation of hibiscus.
The Minister commended the Ambassador for his efforts towards ensuring that the compliance issue that stalled the export of Nigeria hibiscus to Mexico were resolved during his tenure.
Abubakar informed his audience that ‘’ Nigeria is a large producer of Ginger ,Chili Peppers and various, we will love to be Mexico’s importer of choice for these products, our hope is that you will support NAQS to achieve this mutually beneficial outcome’’.
In his remarks, the Mexican Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Alfredo Miranda said that his country is deeply involved in strengthening the capacity of the agricultural produced, adding that hibiscus value was worth more than 600 million dollars, he express his delight to do business with the country under the Ministry.
Alfredo stated that ‘’my country can develop 14 varieties of maize which can be good for other purposes, 14 varieties of rice which can be sold in different conditions, 4 varieties of sesame and several varieties of soya beans.
In his remarks, the Comptroller General ,NAQS Dr. Vincent Isegbe said that “hibiscus is one of the products that we have been exporting to Mexico, ‘’we have been doing well on it until we have hitches on it, but with the resumption of the new Ambassador it took only 3 hours to resolve the matter.”