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Nigeria
February 23, 2024
AgroNigeria
Exclusive News

Nigeria Fast Becoming Dumpsite for Unsafe Food From Neighboring African Nations, Expert Raises Alarm

The Head of EatSafe Country Programmes at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Dr. Augustine Okoruwa, has issued a warning that without prompt action, Nigeria may transform into a receptacle for unsafe food from neighboring African nations.

Speaking during a webinar on Wednesday, Okoruwa emphasized the crucial role of a robust food safety policy, describing it as a vital initiative to fortify food control systems and create a platform for national discussions on safety issues. He highlighted the opportunity for establishing priorities and mechanisms to enhance awareness and sectoral incentives for food safety management.

The webinar, titled “Nigeria’s Food Safety Policy and Legislation,” delved into the current status of food safety in the country, addressing prevalent issues and proposing a way forward.

Okoruwa voiced concern about the absence of a National Food Safety Authority, acting as a singular, comprehensive authority on food safety, and bemoaned the weak regulatory capacities and institutional structures aggravating food safety challenges in Nigeria.

In proposing solutions, he urged the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to expedite the printing and official launch of the revised 2023 policy document. Okoruwa stressed the need for resource allocation at all government levels and advocated for the passage of the Food Safety and Quality Bill, 2023, emphasizing continuous education and awareness creation.

Providing a timeline, he detailed the evolution of the National Policy on Food Safety and Its Implementation Strategy, highlighting the ongoing revision process initiated in 2021.

Okoruwa emphasized the critical need for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s assent to the Food Safety and Quality Bill to confer legal backing for effective implementation, cautioning that without its passage, the policy would lack the necessary legal foundation, rendering it an orphan document without enforceability.

The Head of EatSafe Country Programmes at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Dr. Augustine Okoruwa, has issued a warning that without prompt action, Nigeria may transform into a receptacle for unsafe food from neighboring African nations.

Speaking during a webinar on Wednesday, Okoruwa emphasized the crucial role of a robust food safety policy, describing it as a vital initiative to fortify food control systems and create a platform for national discussions on safety issues. He highlighted the opportunity for establishing priorities and mechanisms to enhance awareness and sectoral incentives for food safety management.

The webinar, titled “Nigeria’s Food Safety Policy and Legislation,” delved into the current status of food safety in the country, addressing prevalent issues and proposing a way forward.

Okoruwa voiced concern about the absence of a National Food Safety Authority, acting as a singular, comprehensive authority on food safety, and bemoaned the weak regulatory capacities and institutional structures aggravating food safety challenges in Nigeria.

In proposing solutions, he urged the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to expedite the printing and official launch of the revised 2023 policy document. Okoruwa stressed the need for resource allocation at all government levels and advocated for the passage of the Food Safety and Quality Bill, 2023, emphasizing continuous education and awareness creation.

Providing a timeline, he detailed the evolution of the National Policy on Food Safety and Its Implementation Strategy, highlighting the ongoing revision process initiated in 2021.

Okoruwa emphasized the critical need for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s assent to the Food Safety and Quality Bill to confer legal backing for effective implementation, cautioning that without its passage, the policy would lack the necessary legal foundation, rendering it an orphan document without enforceability.

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