Government Prioritises Food Security, Safety, Sustainable Economic Growth – Nnaji

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji (fourth from right) flanked by other dignitaries during the commissioning ceremony in Abuja.

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji has highlighted the government’s commitment to prioritising food security, safety and economic growth for sustained national development.

Addressing attendees at the commissioning ceremony of the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology (NiCFoST) Database Management Centre in Abuja, the minister emphasised the necessity of reducing the risk of food insecurity through technological solutions and collaborative efforts across agriculture, food science and technology, as well as nutrition and health programmes.

As the focal Government Council responsible for regulating the food Science and Technology profession, Nnaji underscored the pivotal role of NiCFoST in ushering the country into a new era of professional practice within the food industry and the national food supply system.

Highlighting the significance of the regulatory framework, he stressed its crucial role in minimizing unprofessional practices and mismanagement along the food value chain, contributing to economic benefits and ensuring sustainable national food security. This marks a historic development as it is the first time in Sub-Saharan Africa that the food science and technology profession has a regulatory council.

Nnaji acknowledged the collaborative effort between the ministry and NiCFOST, expressing their shared commitment to advancing Food Science and Technology regulation in Nigeria. He noted that Nigerian food is gaining popularity overseas, becoming increasingly available in local shops, and optimising the benefits of these export market trends will contribute to the economic diversification of the country.

The minister urged Food Science and Technology professionals to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the Establishment Act, citing his recent signing of certificates of registration for newly registered professionals.

The Registrar of the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology (NiCFoST), Veronica Eze highlighted the council’s regulatory role in promoting professional practices for food safety, preventing post-harvest losses, improving the competitiveness of Nigerian food products, promoting exports and contributing to overall food security. Established three years ago amid the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, NiCFoST is dedicated to regulating the practice and profession of food science and technology in Nigeria.

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