NIGERIA – The Federal Ministry of Health has received support from the European Union (EU)-funded National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) project to kick-off the implementation of the national policy on food safety in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s food safety initiative addresses cross-cutting themes on trade, agriculture, health, environment, science and research.
The activity led by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in Abuja, seeks to build capacity and create awareness on the issue of safe food handling to eliminate ‘high risk’ foods from the Nigerian markets and improve food manufacturing procedures to stimulate food exports from Nigeria.
In addition, quality infrastructure considerations will be built into the policy’s implementation plan in line with the WTO SPS obligations to encourage trade in wholesome, safe and affordable Nigerian food products in the domestic and export markets.
According to a statement by UNIDO, “the NQI initiative collaborated with the Ministry of Health to establish two supervisory bodies to oversee an integrated food safety control system for Nigeria and safeguard the mandates of the implementing government agencies – the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Food Safety (IMCFS) and the National Food Safety Management Committee (NFSMC).”
The statement also revealed that 40 laboratories have been prepared for proficiency testing in Lagos. This was done between February 10 NS 11.
It stated, “International experts from the EU-funded NQI Project were in Lagos to deliver a two-day capacity building programme to enhance the competence of Nigerian laboratories to perform conformity assessment services.
“Over 40 laboratories from across Nigeria participated in the knowledge management training course on Proficiency Testing (PT) schemes in accordance with ISO/IEC 17043. The selected laboratories operate testing facilities for the food and beverage industry and will be trained in units under the NQI Project to qualify them to apply for accreditation within the requirements of the ISO 17025 standard.”