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NAFDAC, GAIN seek implementation of food fortification policy

Director-General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii.

The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition have called for the full implementation of the mandatory food fortification policy of the Federal Government.

This, the bodies believe, will aid the achievement of the 2015 target of government to significantly reduce the prevalent micro-nutrient deficiency among Nigerians.

Hence, a renewed effort to educate Nigerian consumers on the importance of buying fortified food products have been intensified in the last one month in Lagos and Kano metropolis, through a social marketing and communication campaign driven by NAFDAC.

The Large Scale Food Fortification programme, which is in its third phase in Nigeria, NAFDAC said on Thursday, was part of the social marketing and communication campaign aimed at sustaining previous gains while enhancing compliance, enforcement and demand creation, so as to improve the vitamin and mineral status of the populace.

To this end, key retail markets and strategic neighborhoods in Lagos and Kano had become a beehive of activities involving the distribution of information, education and communication materials printed in English and local languages aimed at empowering consumers with appropriate knowledge that will help them make healthy choices.

Commenting on the expected benefit of the enlightenment campaign and road show, GAIN Country Manager, Mr. Larry Umunna, at the campaign unveiling event in Lagos, said, “it is the right of every Nigerian to consume fortified foods. Therefore, it is important that the consumers begin to demand for fortified staples.”

Umunna stressed that, “The food industry must be challenged by the consumers to comply with the fortification standard. The ongoing campaign cum roadshow will result in more educated and informed consumers who fully understand the benefits of fortified foods.”

The Director General NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, represented by the Director of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Mrs. Ogochukwu Mainasara, assured the public that the regulatory agency had strengthened its capacity to ensure that government’s vision was realised.

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