The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar has said that the Federal Government would revive economic ties with Mexico.
Abubakar said this in a statement signed by Mr Mohammed Gana, the
Information Officer 2 of the ministry on Thursday in Abuja, when he received a delegation led by the Mexican Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Alfredo Miranda.
He said if the partnership was revived, it will lead to robust diplomatic relationship, strategic trading as well as rewarding traffic for trade.
Abubakar said that Mexico was 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.
” In 2017, Nigeria earned $35m from export of 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico, this happened within the space of nine months of that year.
” 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,” he said.
He said that period was used to decisively overcome the proximate cause of the suspension of export, adding ” the days of khapra beetle infestation of some of the hibiscus consignments are behind us.”
Abubakar 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.
He commended Miranda for his efforts toward ensuring that the compliance issue that stalled the export of Nigeria hibiscus to Mexico were resolved during his tenure.
” 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,” he said.
In his remarks, Miranda said that his country is deeply involved in strengthening the capacity of the agricultural produced.
The Mexican ambassador who said that hibiscus value was worth more than 600 million dollars, expressed his delight to do business with Nigeria under the Ministry.
” 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,” he said.
The Comptroller General, NAQS, Dr Vincent Isegbe said that hibiscus is one of the products that Nigeria has 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 three hours to resolve the matter,” he said.