Abubakar Yunusa Abuja
Adejare Bello, Nigeria’s ambassador to Mexico, says the country is expected to earn about $3 billion annually when it resumes the exportation of hibiscus flowers to Mexico in January 2023.
According to a statement by Abimbola Tooki, spokesperson to the ambassador, Bello said this at the recent signing of a bilateral agreement between Nigeria and Mexico.
Vincent Isegbe, comptroller-general, Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), who represented Mohammad Abubakar, minister of agriculture and rural development, signed the agreement on behalf of Nigeria.
Bello recalled that Nigeria had maintained a good trade relationship with Mexico in the exportation of hibiscus until 2017 when the relationship was suspended upon discovery that some containers of hibiscus flowers brought from Nigeria were contaminated with pests.
He said during the period, Nigeria raked in over $600 million annually before the exportation was suspended by the Mexican authorities.
Bello said that upon his resumption as the Nigerian envoy to Mexico in June last year, he immediately swung into action to resuscitate the relationship.
He also said that he took other steps to take the trade relationship that had existed between both countries to the next level.
“I made some enquiries as to what led to the suspension and having been properly briefed; I took it up from there,” he explained.
“The coast became clearer in April this year when I went with my colleagues in the embassy to the national assembly (chambers of deputies) for the inauguration of the parliamentary friendship group between Mexico and Nigeria.
“We told the congressmen the need to resume the trade in the presence of the Mexican ambassador–designate to Nigeria, Alfredo Miranda, who promised to intensify efforts for the trade on hibiscus flowers to resume.”
Bello expressed excitement that all the efforts yielded positive results when the Nigerian delegation, led by Isegbe, signed the bilateral agreement.
He said that Isegbe and his team had earlier been invited to Pachuca, a distance of about two hours from Mexico city for the inspection of the phytosanitary centre where some experiences were shared with the Nigerian delegation.
The envoy also said he organised a meeting between Nigerian hibiscus exporters and Mexican importers.
According to him, the meeting is aimed at ensuring a long lasting relationship between both parties.
“A follow up meeting was coordinated in my office, between the mexican importers led by Mr Juan Carlos and Mr Ricardo Ramirez and the Nigerian exporters led by the vice chairman, Association of Hibiscus Flowers Exporters, Alhaji Yerima Ibrahim, Alhaji Musa Sambajo, Mr John Oshevire and Mrs Halima,” Bello said.