The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) with the Federal Ministry of Health is set to hold the Nigerian Food and Feed Safety Transformation Dialogue.
A statement issued by NESG on Monday explained that the event billed for Wednesday and Thursday is in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Export Alliance (FAEA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the University of Missouri (UoM) and AGRA.
It said the dialogue will be the first in a series of dialogues in the development of a roadmap of capacity-building activities in support of Nigeria’s food and feed safety modernization efforts in Abuja, Nigeria.
“The food industry in Nigeria is highly regulated. The country operates a multiple-agency food safety control system which is mostly sectoral.
“Food safety legislation is also fragmented between the three tiers of government: federal, state, and local governments.
“The major challenges facing the enhancement of food safety in the country include a lack of awareness of the socio-economic importance of food safety, paucity of data and information on the incidence of food-borne disease outbreaks, lack of understanding of food safety and quality standards as outlined in international agreements, inability to enforce compliance with international standards and global best practices, inadequate infrastructure and resources to support scientific risk analysis and upgrading of food safety regulatory systems, inefficient food supply chain and poor traceability system.
“There is therefore an urgent need to strengthen the existing food safety system at each enterprise level at the Federal, State, and LGAs platforms in order to develop a safe and reliable food supply chain.
“The need to re-align Nigeria’s food safety system to effectively address food safety concerns have now, more than ever, become evident.
“This is expedient because the passage, presidential assent, and full implementation of the Food Safety Act will provide an opportunity for the transformation of the Nigerian Food Safety System; thus making Nigeria able to meet its food safety requirements as well as generating further revenue from exports of safe and nutritious food products within the West African Region and globally,” the statement read.
The NESG explained that the proposed meeting would bring together stakeholders from both the public and private sectors in Nigeria.
Topics for discussion include food trade, risk management, traceability, and food inspection.