The federal government has said it is working hard to stop the rejection of Nigeria’s food items and other goods exported out of the country, describing the situation as worrisome and affecting the country economically.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, spoke in Lagos during the opening of a six-day training for members of the National Codex Committee on Food Safety Risk Analysis and the revised NCC procedural manual organised in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Ehanire, who is the chairman of the committee, represented by the Director and National Coordinator for Food Safety and Quality Programme, Mr Atanda John, said it was created “to ensure protection of food, ensure you take good and safe food and also to ensure fair practice in international food trade.
“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 said all stakeholders must play their roles to reduce the rejection of Nigeria’s food items abroad.
The FAO Country Representative, Fred Kafeero, who was represented by the NCC Focal Person, Sadiya Haliru, explained that the training was approved by the FAO in Nigeria with support from the FAO Regional Office in Accra, Ghana, to build capacities of NCC members for more active participation and contribution to Codex work and activities at the national, regional and global levels.
She said, “It is expected that the outcome of this programme shall have 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.”