NIGERIA – Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii has applauded the review and production of the National Policy on Food Safety and its implementation strategy to help minimise the incidence of risk associated with physical, chemical and biological hazards in food and water in the country.

He noted that the review is a laudable and commendable fit which demonstrates the fact that Nigerians are always willing to make Nigeria great and position it where it rightly belongs among the committee of nations.

He disclosed this at the recent National Food Safety Management Committee (NFSMC) Stakeholders Meeting, held in Abuja.

In his remark, he said, “With a National Safety Food Policy in place with a functional secretariat, Nigeria will be seen to have come at par with other countries that have long ago streamlined and unified their food safety laws and subsequently benefitted immensely from the implementation.”

He stressed that with the federal government’s desire to achieve a comprehensive and effective collaboration, coordination and communication of food safety practices from farm to table nationwide and to reduce the incidence of food-borne related illness, as well as boost the nation’s economy through increased national, regional and international trade.

“An effective, result-based programme implementation needs funding. The developed work plan has identified that line ministries, its department and agencies are required to provide budget for food safety. We understand that the development partners have formed a committee to support the implementation of the activities of Policy to avoid duplication of activities funding,” he said.

According to him, “I have not heard of food related poisoning in the country for the last three years. We believe that at the end of this donor meeting, all hands would be on deck to ensure that food safety system in Nigeria is at par with the international best practices.

I therefore encourage all stakeholders to draw up any available resources to support food safety and make Nigeria free of borne, food related illness and encourage international trade.”

In welcome address, Acting Chairman (NFSMC), Mr. Fubara Chukwu, said illnesses caused by contaminated food is one of the leading causes of suffering and deaths in the developing world, and affects millions of people in all countries.

“It is a wake-up call to all Nigerians to reflect on our general attitude to food safety, personal hygiene, environmental sanitation in our homes, neighbourhood, and public places and work towards ensuring improved hygienic and healthy environment.

“This is the first time the agency will be working closely with NAFDAC and all other agencies that are in cognisance the committee’s mandate to ensure that the country is rid if not completely, minimise the various incidence of risk as it relates to food safety in our society”, he added – STRIDE