The Federal Government has assured that efforts are on-going to ensure that an effective regulation is soon approved to reduce trans-fat consumption in Nigeria.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of a two-day meeting of the #TransfatNigeria Coalition, Minister of Health, Prof. Osagie Ehanire, who was represented by the FMOH National Coordinator for Food Safety and Quality Programme, Mr. John Atandaa, also disclosed that the ministry would soon come up with National Policy, Strategic Plan of Action, and legal framework on reduction/elimination of TFA in Nigeria food menu.
He told the #TransfatFreeNigeria Coalition made up of organisations working to achieve the WHO’s REPLACE action package in Nigeria that “the ministry looks forward to your support towards reduction/elimination of TFA in Nigeria food menu that includes policy, legislation, regulation standards, awareness, training, monitoring, and others”.
The meeting, conveyed by the Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED), had stakeholders, members of the civil society organisations, government ministries, departments, and agencies working on nutrition and health.
In his welcome remarks, the Executive Director of NHED, Dr Emmanuel Sokpo, declared that Nigeria is on course to have a TFA regulation in line with global best practices. Sokpo hinted that the coalition has achieved considerable progress since its first meeting in 2018.
Stressing the need for continuous collaboration to improve the level of awareness on TFA, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Head of Food and Nutrition, Mrs Chito Nelson, welcomes the opportunity to work with NHED, CAPPA, and other coalition members to create awareness and sensitise the public on the dangers of TFA.
Mr Oluwafemi Akinbode, the Executive Director of CAPPA, spoke on the importance of mobilising public support to galvanise political support for the approval of regulations to eliminate TFA in Nigeria.
He said: “Our role is to use the media to mobilise public support for NAFDAC, the Federal Ministry of Health, and other agencies with key roles in achieving a trans-fat free Nigeria.
“This public support is important to our work in mobilising the political class and decision makers to understand the dangers of TFA and move very fast on providing a workable legal framework that prioritises the health of Nigerians.”
Admitting that the consumer is the most important consideration in the campaign, the representative of the FCCPC said that the organisation is keen on sensitising the consumer and protect their interests.
Mrs Kemi Oladipo, the commission’s Assistant Chief Laboratory Technologist, who represented the Executive Vice Chair of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, said: “We are here today because of the consumers, and we are all the consumers. It is important that we protect the interests of the consumers by working together to eliminate trans-fat in Nigeria’s food supply.”