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Food Safety- Nigeria


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Presented at Michigan State University's WorldTAP International Short Course in Food Safety on July 31, 2009. (

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Food Safety- Nigeria

  1. 1. Food Safety – the Nigerian Experience<br />Eva Edwards<br />National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Nigeria<br />July 2009<br />
  2. 2. Nigeria and the West African sub-region<br />
  3. 3. Food Safety Incidents/Scares<br />Noodles – hospitalizations<br />‘Poisonous beans’ – hospitalizations, few fatalities – use of banned pesticide in storage<br />Recurring food safety concerns:<br />Adulteration of food products<br />Faking of infant formula<br />Use of Potassium bromate in bread, Sudan dye in palm oil <br />
  4. 4. Organization of Food Safety in Nigeria <br />The mandate for food safety is shared by various government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and also cuts across different tiers of government: Federal, State and Local. <br />Ministries: Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Water Resources, Federal Ministry of Commerce<br />Departments: Federal Dept of Fisheries, Federal Dept of Livestock, Plant Quarantine Services <br />Agencies: National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Consumer Protection Council<br />NAFDAC operates at the Federal and State levels along with the State Govt. Agencies<br />At the Local Govt. level there are the LGAs and the Primary Healthcare Devt. Agency - responsible for street food vending, catering establishments and traditional markets<br />
  5. 5. Food Laws <br />Food and Drugs Act (Cap 150) of 1990 as amended by Decree 21 of 1999 (formerly called Food and Drugs Decree 35 of 1974) <br />The Animal Disease Control Decree 10 of 1988 <br />The Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes Decree 41 of 1990 <br />Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provisions) Decree 25 of 1999 <br />The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Decree 15 of 1993 (as amended by Decree 19 of 1999)<br />Consumer Protection Council Decree 66 of 1992<br />Inland Fisheries Decree 108 of 1992<br />
  6. 6. Food Regulations<br />There are Regulations in place which provide for:<br />Licensing & registration of food premises<br />Importation & exportation of food<br />Labeling of food<br />Advertisement of food<br />Sampling procedures<br />Closure of unhygienic food premises<br /> Health control of food handlers<br /> Irradiation of food<br />Marketing of Breast milk substitutes <br /> Ante-mortem and/or post-mortem examination of food animals<br /> Quarantine measures<br />Visit for a list of Food Regulations <br />
  7. 7. The role of NAFDAC in Food Safety <br />Is the lead food safety authority and is responsible for the regulation and control of the manufacture, importation, exportation, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of all processed packaged food, water and other beverages in Nigeria <br />Established as a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Health by Decree No. 15 of 1993 (as amended by Decree 19 of 1999)<br />Also responsible for regulation and control of drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, chemicals & detergents<br />
  8. 8. Implementation of the NAFDAC Mandate<br />Licensing of food establishments<br />Mandatory Registration of processed packaged foods<br />Post Registration Surveillance<br />Inspectorate Activities: Facility Inspections to assess GMP/GHP, Inspection of imported food products<br />Enforcement Activities: sanctions for violations <br />
  9. 9. Other roles of NAFDAC in Food Safety <br />WTO (SPS) Enquiry Point (EP) in Nigeria<br />INFOSAN Focal Point/INFOSAN Emergency Contact Point in Nigeria<br />Member of the Nigerian delegation to Codex meetings<br />Chair of the General Purposes Technical Committee of the National Codex Committee (NCC) <br />
  10. 10. Challenges in the Food Safety System <br />Inadequate powers under some of the food laws<br />Overlap of functions resulting in over-regulation of the Industry; mandatory registration required by NAFDAC and SON for the same products <br />Lack of effective collaboration and co-ordination of the MDAs<br />No system for collection and dissemination of information across sectors and organizations<br />Lack of effective regulation of street food vending<br />High numbers of Fake/substandard products<br />Adulteration <br />
  11. 11. Strengths<br />NAFDAC as the lead Food Safety Authority enjoys tremendous co-operation and goodwill from the Nigerian public as a result of sustained sincere, purposeful leadership and transparent processes<br />The turn around of NAFDAC from a moribund to a vibrant Agency has become a case study for change in Nigeria <br />
  12. 12. Way Forward<br />Improve cooperation and collaboration of MDAs with roles in food safety or perhaps create a dedicated Food Safety Authority?<br />Develop a national Food Safety action plan <br />Enhance regional co-operation, collaboration and information sharing on food safety issues<br />Effective regulation of street vended foods & open markets <br />Establish a National Food Risk Analysis Centre (NFRAC) in NAFDAC (plans underway). The centre is expected to be a repository for scientific data on food safety in Nigeria.<br />Capacity Building Needs:<br />Risk Assessment & Research Methods in Food Safety in preparation for the take-off of the centre. <br />HACCP training for risk-based inspections. <br />
  13. 13. Thank you/ Merci<br />