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NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL SEEDS ACT
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
Establishment, etc., of the National Agricultural Seeds Council
National Seed Service Unit and other bodies of the Council, etc.
Appointment of seed inspector, etc.
Staff of the Council
Supplementary provisions relating to the Council
NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL SEEDS ACT
An Act to establish the National Agricultural Seeds Council and for matters connected therewith.
[23rd November, 1992] [Commencement.]
Establishment, etc., of the National Agricultural Seeds Council
(1) There is hereby established a Council to be known as the National Agricultural Seed Council (in this Act referred to as “the Council”) which shall be charged with responsibility for the overall policy guidelines and monitoring of the development of the national seed system.
(2) The Council shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and may sue and be sued in its corporate name.
(1) The Council shall consist of-
(a) the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, as chairman;
(b) the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as vice-chairman;
(c) the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture;
(d) the Director of-
(i) the Federal Department of Agriculture;
(ii) the Department of Agricultural Science of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure;
(e) four persons to represent State Ministries of Agriculture and Natural Resources or State Seed Co-ordination Committees, when established, one to be selected from each zone on rotational basis;
(f) four persons to represent the Nigeria seed industry;
(g) one person each to represent-
(i) the Seed Growers Association; and
(ii) the Co-operatives Societies of Nigeria;
(h) one person to represent the Federal Ministry of Finance;
(i) one person from a private financial lending institution;
(j) the Head of Unit, National Seed Service Unit of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, who shall also serve as a member and secretary to the Council; and
(k) a representative of the Department of Plant Breeding and Seed Technology in a Nigerian university.
(2) All appointments under paragraphs (d), (e), (f), and (h) of subsection (1) of this section shall be made by the Minister.
(3) Members of the Council, other than those appointed under paragraphs (b), (c), (d), (g), (i) and (j) of subsection (1) of this section, shall each hold office for such period not being less than three years as the Minister, may from time to time, determine.
(4) The supplementary provisions set out in the First Schedule to this Act shall have effect with respect to the proceedings of the Council and the other matters specified therein.
The functions of the Council shall be-
(a) to analyse and propose programmes, policies and actions regarding seed development and the seed industry in general, including legislation and research on issues relating to seed testing, registration, release, production, marketing, distribution, certification, quality control, supply and use of seeds in Nigeria, importation and exportation of seeds and quarantine regulations relating there to;
(b) propose improved management system and procedure relating to the administration of seed activity and advise the Federal Government on the organisation, management and proper financing of seed programmes;
(c) analyse the market and prices of seeds;
(d) control, supervise and approve the activities of the following committees established by or pursuant to this Act, that is-
(i) the Crop Variety Registration and Release Committee;
(ii) the Seeds Standards Committee;
(iii) the Seed Industry and Skill Development Committee; and
(iv) such other committees as may be established, from time to time;
(e) advice the national research system on the changing pattern of seed demand and farmers needs;
(f) monitor and evaluate the achievement of the national seed system and recommend improvements thereto;
(g) encourage the formation or establishment in Nigeria of seed companies for the purpose of carrying out research, production, processing and marketing of seeds; and
(h) perform such other related functions as may be required of the Council, from time to time.
As from the commencement of this Act, every company incorporated in Nigeria for the purposes specified in paragraph (g) of section 3 of this Act, shall enjoy such incentives as are granted by the Federal Government to an agricultural enterprise.
National Seed Service Unit and other bodies of the Council, etc.
(1) There are hereby established for the Council, the following bodies, that is-
(a) the National Seed Service Unit;
(b) the Crop Variety Registration and Release Committee;
(c) the Seeds Standard Committee;
(d) the Seed Industry and Skill Development Committee; and
(e) the Department of Training Information and Seed Extension,
and such other departments or bodies as the Council may, from time to time, deem expedient for effective discharge of the functions of the Council under this Act.
(2) Each of the bodies referred to in subsection (1) of this section shall be headed by a director.
(1) The National Seed Service Unit (in this Act referred to as “the Unit”) shall have responsibility for-
(a) the development, certification and quality control of seeds;
(b) seed technology development, technical support services, seed industry development and co-ordination of breeder and foundation seed;
(c) foundation seed production, distribution and monitoring of certified seed;
(d) planning, and monitoring the national seed programme and use;
(e) the publication of a list of registered, released or notified seed varieties approved for commercialisation in Nigeria; and
(f) assisting the development of the private seed industry.
(2) The Unit shall maintain a register of persons and or organisations carrying on crop varieties development research leading to the registration and release of improved crop varieties for commercial production and marketing.
(3) Any person or organisation registered under subsection (2) of this section may, subject to the provisions of the National Phytosanitary Regulations, import duty free into Nigeria for use in the crop varieties development research, variety breeding and other propagating biological materials.
(1) The Crop Variety Registration and Release Committee shall have responsibility for making recommendations to the Council on matters relating to-
(a) the registration and release of any given crop variety;
(b) the declaration of a crop variety as a notified kind and for the purposes of this Act, different kinds or varieties of seed may be notified for different States of the Federation or different areas thereof.
(2) A crop kind variety intended to be registered under this section may be required to undergo a minimum of two years of test to determine its adaptability to a particular geographical area.
The Seeds Standard Committee shall have responsibility for making recommendations to the Council on matters relating to seed standard and procedure pertaining thereto.
The Seed Industry and Skill Development Committee shall have responsibility for making recommendations to the Council on matters relating to the seed industry and skill development.
The Department of Training Information and Seed Extension shall have responsibility for training and information dissemination purposes.
(1) The Council shall have five operating zones and five zonal secretariats as listed in the Second Schedule to this Act.
(2) Each zonal secretariat shall consist of a director and such professional and non-professional staff as can gainfully operate the zone.
(1) Any person who sells, keeps for sale, offers to sell, barters or· otherwise supplies any seed of any notified kind or variety shall apply to the Unit for the grant of a certification for the purpose.
(2) Every application under subsection (1) of this section shall be in such form and contain such particulars and fees as may be prescribed by the Unit.
(3) On receipt of an application for the grant of a certification, the Unit may, after making such enquiry as it thinks fit and after satisfying itself that the seed to which the application relates is a progeny of a pedigree seed and conforms to the field and laboratory standards for the seed under this Act, grant a certificate in such form and on such
conditions as may be prescribed.
(1) The Unit may revoke any certification granted under this Act if it is satisfied that the certification was obtained by misrepresentation or that the holder of the certification has contravened any of the provisions of this Act or any regulations made thereunder.
(2) The Unit shall, before revoking any certification, give due notice to any person likely to be affected by such a revocation.
(3) A person who is aggrieved by a decision of the Unit under subsection (1) of this section may appeal to such authority as may be specified by the Council within 30 days from the date on which the decision is communicated to him:
Provided that the appellate authority may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of 30 days if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time.
(4) On receipt of an appeal under subsection (3) of this section, the Council shall after giving the appellant an opportunity of being heard, dispose of the appeal as expeditiously as possible.
(5) Every order of the appellant authority shall be final.
(1) Every certification shall specify that the genetic identity of the released variety is preserved through the various stages of multiplication of the seed.
(2) The following categories of seeds of released varieties shall be subject to seed certification, namely-
(a) breeder seed;
(b) foundation seed/inbred lines; and
(c) certified seed.
The Minister may by notification in the Gazette recognise any seed certification agency established in any foreign country for the purposes of this Act.
(1) An application to export or import seeds of a notified kind or variety into Nigeria shall be made to the Unit and the appellant shall forward a copy of such application to the Plant Quarantine Service.
(2) Seed samples meant for research purposes, seeds intended for export from or import into Nigeria shall carry the necessary phytosanitory certificates and viability tests result.
(3) Seed imported into Nigeria shall, in addition to identification as to their origin, be clearly labelled with analysis.
(1) As from the commencement of this Act, no person shall sell, offer or expose for sale, falsely labelled, tagged or untagged seeds of a notified kind, variety or hybrid.
(2) A person who offers agricultural seeds of a notified kind or variety for sale shall ensure that the label affixed to the seed container accurately describes the seeds contained therein.
(3) Except for demonstration purposes, no person shall offer for sale agricultural seeds of a notified kind or variety in an open container.
(4) When the seed of a notified kind or variety is offered for sale each container shall be marked or labelled in the manner hereinafter specified.
(5) The person whose name appears on the mark or label shall-
(a) be responsible for the accuracy of the information required to appear on the mark or label if the seed is contained in the unopened original container;
(b) not be responsible for the accuracy of the statement appearing on the mark or label or for the accuracy of the germination statement beyond the date of validity indicated on the mark or label if the seed is removed from the original unopened container.
(a) the minimum limits of germination and purity of any seed kind or variety;
(b) if the seed in the container has been treated-
(i) a statement indicating that the seed has been treated;
(ii) the commonly accepted chemical or abbreviated chemical (generic) name of the applied substance;
(c) the name and address of the person who offers for sale, or otherwise supplies the seed and who is responsible for its quality;
(d) the name of the seed species, variety, lot number, class of seeds and net weight.
(2) The name of variety, trade mark and registered brand shall be acceptable descriptive categories of seed for labelling purposes:
Provided that the name of the original variety is also stated on the label.
No person shall for the purpose of sowing or planting by any person (including him self) export or import or cause to be exported or imported any seed of any notified kind or variety, unless-
(a) it conforms to the minimum limits of germination and purity specified for that seed subject to subsections (1) and (2) of section 18 of this Act;
(b) its container bears in the prescribed manner the mark or label for the correct particulars thereof specified for that seed under sections 14, 15 and 16 of this Act.;
Unless with the prior approval of the Council, no person shall damage any registered name, trade mark or brand of variety.
There shall be maintained a register of persons and organisations licensed to engage in seed production and marketing under the following classification, namely-
(a) seed production company;
(b) seed enterprises production on contract for seed company;
(c) breeder seed production agency (research institutes and private);
(d) foundation seed grower (research and private);
(e) enterprise seed processor;
(f) seeds dealer whether as wholesaler or not.
(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, no person other than a person registered under this Act shall produce or be engaged in the production, processing and marketing of seeds for commercial purposes.
(2) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a person growing and delivering seeds of any variety direct to another person without monetary consideration for use by that other person for sowing on the latter’s own farm.
(1) The Minister may by notification in the Gazette designate any laboratory as a central seed testing laboratory (in this Act referred to as “a seed laboratory”) for the purpose of carrying out the functions entrusted to a seed laboratory by or under this Act.
(2) A seed analyst shall, at a seed laboratory, carry out in the prescribed manner an analysis of seeds of a notified kind or variety.
The Genetic Resources Unit or any other agency or body within the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure so designated by the Minister shall be responsible for the collection, maintenance and registration of seeds or plants of land races and the varieties and accession from such collectors shall be available to public and private agencies for research purposes.
Appointment of seed inspector, etc.
The Council may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint such persons as it thinks fit, having the prescribe qualifications, to be seed inspectors and define the areas within which they shall exercise jurisdiction.
(a) take samples of the seed of any notified kind or variety from-
(i) any person selling such seed; or
(ii) any person who is in the course of conveying, delivering or preparing to deliver such seed to a purchaser or a consignee; or
(iii) a purchaser or a consignee after delivery of such seed to him;
(b) send such sample for analysis to the seed analyst for the area within which such sample has been taken;
(c) enter and search at all reasonable times, with such assistance, if any, as he considers necessary, any place in which he has reason to believe that an offence under this Act has been or is being committed and order in writing the person in possession of any seed in respect of which the offence has been or is being committed, not to dispose of any stock of such seed for a specific period not exceeding thirty days;
(d) examine any record, register, document or any other material object found in any place mentioned in paragraph (c) of this subsection and seize the same if he has reason to believe that it may furnish evidence of the commission of an offence punishable under this Act; and
(e) exercise such other powers as may be necessary for carrying out the purposes of this Act or any regulations made thereunder.
(2) The power conferred by this section includes power to break-open a container in which any seed of any kind or variety may be contained or to break-open the door of any premises where any such seed may be kept for sale:
Provided that the power to break-open the door shall be exercised only after the owner or any other person in occupation of the premises, if he is present therein, refuses to open the door on being called upon to do so.
(3) Where a seed inspector takes any action under paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section, he shall, as far as possible, call not less than two persons to be present at the time when such action is taken and take their signatures on a memorandum to be prepared in the prescribed form and manner.
(1) If any person-
(a) contravenes the provision of section 26 of this Act or any regulations made thereunder; or
(b) prevents a seed inspector from taking samples under this Act; or
(c) prevents a seed inspector from exercising any other power conferred on him by or under this Act;
(d) contravenes any other provisions of this Act, shall be guilty of an offence.
(2) A person who is guilty of an offence under this that shall be liable on conviction-
(a) for the first offence, to a tine which may extend to N500; and
(b) in the event of such person having been previously convicted of an offence under this section, to imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or to a fine which may extend to NI ,000, or to both such tine and imprisonment.
When any person has been convicted under this Act for the contravention of any of the provisions of this Act or of any regulations made thereunder, the seed in respect of which the contravention has been committed may be forfeited to the Federal Governent.
(1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company, every person who at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:
Provided that nothing contained in this subsection shall render any such person liable to any punishment under this Act if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in subsection (l) of this section, where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
Nothing in this Act shall apply to any seed of any notified kind or variety grown by a person and delivered by him on his own premises direct to another person without any monetary consideration for being used by that person for the purpose of sowing or planting.
Staff of the Council
There shall be appointed by the President, on the recommendation of the Minister, a Director-General of the Council who shall be the chief executive of the Council and be responsible for execution of the policies and day-to-day running of the affairs of the Council.
(1) Subject to this Act, the Council may appoint such other persons as members of its staff as it considers necessary and may approve conditions of service for the staff.
(2) If the Council thinks it expedient that any vacancy in the staff of the Council should be filled by a person holding office in any of the public services in the Federation, it shall inform the appropriate body to that effect and thereafter the Council may, by arrangement with the body concerned, cause such vacancy to be tilled by way of secondment or transfer.
(3) Where any person is seconded under subsection (2) of this section, he shall be notified of the terms and conditions of the secondment, and the secondment shall be without prejudice to any pension rights which, but for the secondment, would still accrue to him.
(4) A person seconded under subsection (2) of this section may elect to be transferred to the staff of the Council in which case any previous service in the public service concerned shall be qualifying services as defined in the Pensions Act.
(1) Service in the employment of the Council shall be approved service for the purpose of the Pensions Act and accordingly, officers and other persons employed in the Council shall be entitled to pensions, gratuities and other retirement benefits as are prescribed thereunder, so however, that nothing in this Act shall prevent the appointment of
a person to any office on terms which preclude the grant of a pension, gratuity or other retirement benefit in respect of that office.
(2) For the purposes of application of the provisions of the Pension Act, any power exercisable thereunder by a Minister or other authority of the Government of the Federation (not being the power to make regulations under section 23 thereof) is hereby vested in and shall be exercisable by the Council and not by any other person or authority.
(1) There shall be established and maintained by the Council, a fund from which shall be defrayed all expenditure incurred by the Council.
(2) There shall be paid and credited to the fund, established pursuant to subsection (1) of this section-
(a) such moneys as may be provided to the Council by the Federal Government or a State;
(b) all moneys as may be raised for the purposes of the Council by way of gift, loan, grants-in-aid, testamentary disposition or otherwise;
(c) all interests received in respect of moneys invested by the Council; and
(d) all other assets, from time to time, accruing to the Council.
(3) The fund shall be managed in accordance with rules made by the President and without prejudice to the generality of the power to make rules under this subsection, the rules shall in particular contain provisions-
(a) specifying the manner in which the assets of the fund are to be held, and regulating the making of payments into and out of the fund;
(b) requiring the keeping of proper accounts and records for the purposes of the fund in such form as may be specified in the rules;
(c) for securing that the accounts are audited periodically by auditors appointed from the list and in accordance with guidelines supplied by the Auditor-General for the Federation;
(d) requiring copies of the accounts and of auditor’s report thereon to be furnished to the Minister.
The Council shall not later than six months after the end of each year submit through the Minister to the President and to the Nigerian Council for Agriculture, a report on the activities of the Council during the preceding year.
(1) For the purposes of the Land Use Act, the purposes of the Council shall be purpose of the Federation within the meaning of that Act.
(2) The Minister charged with responsibility for land matters may by an instrument under his hand and seal, vest in the Council any property acquired pursuant to subsection (l) of this section and the Council shall pay into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation a sum equal to the aggregate amount of any expenses (including compensation) incurred on behalf of the Federal Government by virtue of that subsection in respect of any property vested in the Council by such an instrument.
(1) The Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, make regulations to carry out the purposes of this Act.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such regulations may provide for-
(a) the functions of the Central Seed Laboratory;
(b) the certification of seeds;
(c) the manner of marking or labelling the container of seed of any notified kind or variety under sections 17 and 18 of this Act;
(d) the requirements which may be complied with by a person carrying on the business referred to in sections 16 and 17 of this Act;
(e) the form of application for the grant of a certification under section 12 of this Act, the particulars it may contain, the fees which should accompany it, the form of the certificate and the conditions subject to which the certification may be granted;
(f) the form and manner in which the fee on payment of which an appeal may be preferred under section 13 of this Act and the procedure to be followed by the appellate authority in disposing the appeal;
(g) the qualifications and duties of seed analysts and the seed inspectors;
(h) the manner in which samples may be taken by the seed inspector, the procedure for sending such samples to the seed analyst or the central seed laboratory and the manner of analysing such samples;
(i) the form of report of the result of the laboratory analysis and the fees payable in respect of such report.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-
“agricultural seeds” includes cereals, legumes, oil, grass, forage, fibre, root, tuber or any other kind of crop, seed or seedling commonly recognised within Nigeria as agricultural seed; lawn seed, vegetable seed, forestry seed and seedlings, horticultural seeds and seedlings, ornamental seeds, seed mixtures and all planting materials as the Minister may designate from time to time;
“seed laboratory” means a central seed laboratory designated as such under section 23 of this Act;
“certified seed” means any prescribed seed which is certified under the provisions of this Act;
“container” means a box, casket, tin, barrel, tank, receptacle, sack, bag, wrapper or other thing in which any article or thing is placed or packed;
“Council” means the National Agricultural Seed Council established by section 1 of this Act;
“labelling” means any label or other written, printed or graphical representation, in any form, accompanying and pertaining to seed whether in bulk or in container;
“Minister” means the Minister charged with responsibility for agriculture and “Ministry” shall be construed accordingly;
“export” means taking out of Nigeria to a place outside Nigeria;
“import” means bringing into Nigeria from a place outside Nigeria;
“notified kind of variety” in relation to any seed means any kind of seed or variety
thereof notified under this Act;
“seed importer” means any person who, either exclusively or in conjunction with
any other trade or business, imports seeds into Nigeria for resale;
“seed inspector” means the person appointed as seed inspector pursuant to section 25 of this Act;
“seed producer” means any person who either exclusively or in conjunction with any other trade or business, produces seeds for sale;
“seed seller” means any person who, either exclusively or in conjunction with any other person, trade or business, sells seeds for growing to Nigerian farmers;
“sell” includes to exchange or to offer, advertise, keep, expose, transmit, conveyor deliver in pursuance of a sale, exchange or barter;
“unit” means the National Seed Service Unit established by section 5 of this Act;
“variety” means a sub-division of any crop specie which can be differentiated from other sub-division of that kind of growth, plant, fruit or other characteristics and any uniform group which can be a first generation hybrid (Fl) or a plant population reconstituted on each occasion by crossing two or more breeding stock maintained by inbreeding or population maintained;
“weed seed” includes the seed of all plants included as weeds or listed as weeds in the seed regulations or commonly recognised as weeds in Nigeria.
This Act may be cited as the National Agricultural Seeds Act.
[Section 2 (4).]
Supplementary provisions relating to the Council Proceedings of the Council
(2) Where the Council wishes to obtain the advice of any person on a particular matter, the Council may co-opt him as a member for such period as it thinks fit, but a person who is a member by virtue of this sub-paragraph shall not be entitled to vote at any meeting of the Council and shall not count towards quorum.
(2) A committee appointed under this paragraph shall consist of the number of persons determined by the Council and not more than one-third of those persons determined by the Council may be persons who are not members of the Council; and a person other than a member of the Council shall hold office on the committee in accordance with the terms of the instrument by which he is appointed.
(3) A decision of a committee of the Council shall be of no effect until it is confirmed by the Council.
(2) Any contract or instrument which if made or executed by a person not being a body corporate, would not be required to be under seal may be made or executed on behalf of the Council by any person generally or specially authorised to act for that purpose by the contract.
[Section II (2).]
NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL SEEDS ACT
No Subsidiary Legislation