Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) has called for the modification of the public notice issued by Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in its attempt at enforcing the Executive Order No. 001 of 2017.
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo had on May 18 signed three far-reaching executive orders to ease business, fast-track budget submission and promote made in Nigeria products.
The participating agencies include the Nigerian Police Force, Directorate of State Security, Quarantine Services, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Nigerian Immigration Services, Nigeria Customs Services, FAAN Aviation Security, amongst others.
Mr Vincent Iseghe, Coordinating Director of NAQS, made the call while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Saturday.
“The notice addressed to airlines and passengers, itemises and attempts to direct agencies of government on where they should be positioned at the airport during the discharge of their duties.
“This is at variance with paragragh 20 of the executive order and it was not addressed to any government agencies.
“The public notice by FAAN is an antithesis to the executive order it served and should therefore be modified especially as it concerns NAQS,” Iseghe told reporters.
He said this had led to a situation at the international airports where NAQS officials have been forcefully removed from their posts at the departure and arrival terminals only to be confined to cargo terminal.
“The Executive Order says; MDAs at the airports shall within 30 days merge their respective departure and arrival interfaces into a single customer interface, without prejudice to necessary backend procedures.
“The order simply implies that all the MDAs should work together to achieve a common goal and not to send officers of the quarantine service away at entrance or departure point at the airports.
“Nigeria is a member of the World Trade Organisation and the NAQS remains very prominent in both arrival and departure of any border inspection point at the seaport and land borders.
“NAQS is to safeguard any agric produce that is entering and leaving the country. That is why government in its wisdom created quarantine service.
“The main function of quarantine service is to prevent the entry of any disease of animals, plants, aquatic resources entry into Nigeria and to ensure food safety,” he said.
Iseghe said: “if the Nigeria Quarantine Service is not properly placed, there is no way we can fulfill our obligation of meeting the international community.
“My appeal is for the authority of FAAN to be aware of this convention and ensure that the NAQS officers are properly placed where we are supposed to be.”
Worldwide, he said, NAQS are present in all the international airports and seaports.