The Federal Government has affirmed its commitment to validate the revised National Policy on Food Safety and Quality and its Implementation Plan 2023.
The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Ali Pate, disclosed this at the food and feed safety expertise coordination workshop organized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture in Abuja.
Pate, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Operations, Emmanuel Odu, said he was elated that food safety stakeholders in Nigeria were coming together to discuss modernizing the food safety system and structure across the country.
His words: “This event comes as the ministry is about to validate the revised National Policy on Food Safety and Quality and its Implementation Plan 2023, as well as the launching of the first National Integrated Guidelines for Foodborne Disease Surveillance and Response.
“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.”
The minister said the “event has therefore come at an appropriate time to ensure the right capacity needed to transform the food safety system and structure are developed.”
In his own remarks, the Chief Executive Officer-Designate, NESG, Tayo Aduloju, said Nigeria’s commitment to upholding the highest food safety standards was paramount to the nation’s well-being and progress.
“By collaborating and pooling our collective expertise, we can strengthen regulatory frameworks and enhance the overall quality of food and feed in our country. Nigeria has over 70 million hectares of agricultural land, a massive potential for economic growth and development.
“However, for the sector to thrive, we must have effective regulatory, institutional and policy frameworks. Frameworks that address the gaps in food and feed safety systems will not only improve the well-being of citizens but also impact Nigeria’s position in international trade.
“To benefit effectively from the AFCTA, reforming food and feed safety systems in Nigeria is inevitable. As we navigate an ever-evolving global landscape, the importance of efficient food and feed safety systems cannot be overemphasized,” Aduloju said.