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CSO urges government to prioritise effective food policies to improve public health

A CIVIL Society Organisation, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has urged governments at all levels to expand access to healthy food and prioritise implementing effective food policies to enhance public health. 

 In a statement to mark World Food Safety Day, the organisation highlighted the urgent need for comprehensive measures to address food security and nutritional challenges faced by millions of Nigerians.

The statement signed by CAPPA’s media and communications officer, Robert Egbe, also commended the Nigerian government for its initiatives to improve food accessibility and affordability in the country but noted that food safety remained a critical issue.

According to CAPPA, armed conflicts and diverse impacts of climate change have continued to prevent many farmers from earning a livelihood through farming and improving the food supply chain.

The ICIR reported that Nigeria’s headline inflation rate increased to 33.69 per cent in April, the 11th consecutive rise under President Bola Tinubu, since he assumed office in May 2023.

The inflation rate is 0.49 per cent higher than in March when the rate surpassed the highest record since 1999.

Another report by The ICIR shows that the cost of eating healthy food in Nigeria is now N1,035.

Consequently, anyone in Nigeria would need N64,170 to eat at least two healthy diets daily for a month – 31 days, according to the data from the  National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

In its statement, CAPPA pointed out that food adulteration, contamination, improper labelling, unverified claims by producers, and the victimisation of consumers by large food corporations continued to pose serious threats to the economy, well-being, and nutrition of vulnerable Nigerians.

Part of the statement read: “It is in this context that CAPPA reiterates the need for state authorities to enact and implement comprehensive laws and policies across the food and nutrition spectrum, not only to ensure adequate food regulatory oversight but to maintain vigilance that safeguards Nigerians and public health.  

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“In particular, the overconsumption of salt and sugar has been linked to the growth of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases worldwide and in Nigeria, causing both economic and social strains.

“CAPPA urges the government to reverse this negative trend by implementing food strategies and policies that promote access to healthier diets and spur producers to reformulate comestibles for the betterment of public health.

The organisation, therefore, urged Nigerians to prioritise their health and eating to live, adding that people must watch their food consumption patterns, and make sure to consciously desist from the excessive consumption of sugar, salt, and fat.




     

     

    Earlier, The ICIR reported that the World Health Organisation (WHO) advised households to discard any refrigerated foods that have been exposed to power outages for more than four hours.

    The health agency noted that food products could become unsafe if they have been exposed to temperatures above 5 °C for more than two hours.

    It said these in a series of posts on X on Friday, June 7, to mark the World Food Safety Day.

    World Food Safety Day, marked every June 7, aims to draw attention to food safety, with this year’s theme focusing on the importance of being prepared for food safety incidents, no matter how mild or severe they could be.

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    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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