Posted Wed, Dec 21, 2022 2:10 PM
The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) applauds the Nigerian senate for passing the National Food Safety and Quality Bill on the 20th of December 2022. The National Food Safety and Quality Bill (SB.589) was read for the third time and passed by the Senate after several months of deliberations.
Modernisation and its impact on food safety have increasingly become an essential factor in governance due to its effects on public health, agriculture, trade and investment, poverty, hunger and tourism. In Nigeria, the food value chain (Farm-to-Fork) is undergoing a considerable transformation as Government intensifies its efforts to improve safety by reviewing and updating critical components of the national food safety control system.
Through the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable (NASSBER), the Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA), together with AGRA, the Rockefeller Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID, the NESG has been collaborating with the Federal ministry of health and other relevant ministries and agencies of government to support the enaction of legislation that will support and enhance food safety and security for Nigeria.
Ensuring a high level of food safety and quality is necessary to provide adequate protection for consumers. Unsafe and poor-quality food products negatively impact the economy and public well-being, which justifies government intervention in every country to ensure food safety. As a result of this, the NESG went on a sensitization and fact-finding mission across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. The states visited across Nigeria’s six geo political zones include Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Borno, Kano, Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The passage and implementation of the Food safety and quality bill will ensure the protection of the health of consumers from hazards which may be present in food and animal feed. The bill also seeks to establish the general principles of official control of food and feed safety, the obligations of food and feed business operators; and define the functions and powers of institutions of Federal and State Governments with the objective of ensuring that food and feed safety risks are effectively managed and that food is of the nature, substance and quality expected by the consumer.
While commending the National Assembly for its role in ensuring the passage of the National Food Safety and Quality Bill, we implore the government to act speedily in ensuring that this legislation is signed into law, as we believe that the measures set out in the Bill will create a more appropriate system that meets today’s realities, improve the business environment and general food and feed performance across the economy as a whole.
As the bill awaits concurrence at the house of representatives and presidential assent, the NESG will continue to partner with stakeholders in the agricultural ecosystem, private and public sectors to ensure that food and feed safety risks are effectively managed and that food safety and security is of topmost priority to all Nigerians.