- Moves are ongoing to improve the quality of Nigerian food for export purposes in the global market
- This move has been championed by the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), one of Africa’s foremost think-tank organisations, alongside other stakeholders
- Similarly, the Minister of Health, Ali Pate, has expressed his commitment to prioritise and improve Nigeria’s food safety standards
Legit.ng journalist Segun Adeyemi has over 9 years of experience covering political events, civil society, courts, and metro
FCT, Abuja - The Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) has brought together various stakeholders and partners to strengthen the structure of the country’s food safety system.
The NESG on Tuesday, November 7, emphasised the importance of accelerating the approval of the Food Safety and Quality Bill to make it a law.
This move aims to facilitate the entry of Nigerian agricultural products into global markets without facing additional barriers.
During the Food and Feed Safety Expertise Co-ordination Workshop’s launch in Abuja, Dr Tayo Aduloju, the chief executive designate of NESG, mentioned that the bill’s slow progress has played a role in foreign nations, notably the European Union (EU), the United States, and the United Kingdom, frequently declining Nigerian export products.
Speaking to Legit.ng on the side, Dr Aduloju said the quest to ensure Nigerian food meets global standards requires the efforts and cooperation of the various stakeholders involved, beginning with the federal government.
“You need all the institutions across the food system value chain at national, state, at local aligned and calibrated to be able to work together to deliver something that translates into safety for all so it’s not one thing it’s everything.
“..forget about the fact that it is also the key component of driving export trade right now a lot of our food is being rejected because of failure to meet codex standards for quality and safety of food.”
Minister reveals Tinubu’s policy
Also speaking at the workshop, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Ali Pate, said the federal government is willing to validate the revised National Policy on Food Safety and Quality and its Implementation Plan 2023.
Pate spoke through his Special Adviser on Operations, Emmanuel Odu, and expressed his delight over the collaborative efforts of food safety stakeholders in Nigeria to enhance and update the food safety system and framework nationwide.
“The revised policy will look at new and emerging areas that will improve the regulatory, enforcement and data-gathering system to ensure it is more effective, efficient, and robust.
“The guidelines will set the roadmap for the integrated surveillance of foodborne diseases and establish the protocols for the response to food safety emergencies in the country.”
Food security: Scientist reveals solution to achieving ‘zero hunger’ in Nigeria
Meanwhile, after the federal government declared a state of emergency regarding food security, experts have initiated discussions on finding an effective solution.
As these debates continue, certain experts are leaning towards strategies that could be crucial in reviving food access in Nigeria.
Prince Abdulsalami Ladigbolu, the President of UNESCO-REF, emphasised the significance of empowering young women in agriculture as a critical step in restoring food availability.