The Nigerian government has reiterated its commitment to stop the rejection of its food and other related items exported abroad, describing the situation as worrisome as it is affecting the country’s economy negatively. The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire made this known during an opening of a six-day training for members of the National Codex Committee on Food Safety Risk Analysis and the revised NCC manual organized in Lagos in collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Organisation, FAO.
The Minister is the Chairman of the Committee was represented by the Director and National Coordinator of Food Safety and Quality Programme, Mr. Atanda John, who said the gathering was organized “to ensure the protection of food, ensure you take good and safe food and also to ensure fair practice in international food trade.
John explained, “We have been hearing of rejection of our foods; it’s because there’s no adherence to that standard, and this is not giving the country a good image. It’s affecting us economically tourism wise and in every other aspect.”
He called on all the concerned stakeholders in the industry to play by the rules by ensuring that no food item exported from Nigeria should be rejected everywhere it is been taken to.
In his remark, the FAO county representative, Mr. Fred Kafeero, who was represented by the NCC focal person, Sadiya Haliru, revealed that the training was sponsored by the FAO in Nigeria with support from the Ghana regional office in Accra to build the capacity of NCC members for more active participation and contribution to codex work and activities and both the national, regional and global level.
Haliru said, “It is expected that the outcome of this program shall have a significant impact on Nigeria’s agricultural production system and value chain, reduce the risks on health to consumers, food producers, processors, importers/exporters, and the economy.”