By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja.
The National Economic Council (NEC) on Tuesday warned the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Cntrol (NAFDAC) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to be vigilant against importation of substandard food items into the country.
Briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the monthly meeting of the council, Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha said the Federal Government would no longer tolerate a situation whereby the country would be made a dumping ground for substandard products in the name of food importation.
“We were concerned about some of the imported goods, some of the items imports into this country in the name of food and we have cautioned seriously that SON, NAFDAC and other agencies that deal with quality of goods should do their utmost best so that rubbish is not sent into this country in the name of food.
“We realized that some of the frozen chicken and fish imports into this country are being preserved with very dangerous chemicals. So we are of the opinion that this area should be looked into.”
Okorocha who is also the Chairman of Progressive Governor’s Forum also disclosed the discussions at the meeting which lasted for over five hours centred on agriculture with the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh briefing council on action plans by his ministry on how to improve on food production in the country.
He said council agreed that state governments should partner with the Federal Government in that regard to ensure productivity and high yields in the agricultural sector.
The governor also noted that council commended the anchor borrowers programme of the federal government through the CBN as a success story, adding that many states had now embarked on rice farming which would guarantee sufficiency in rice production in the next year in the country.
“And again,we all resolved that agriculture should continue to take the center stage in this country for now so that our country will be able to feed itself. If we are not able to do this, employment for our youth would be a mere dream,” he added.
Okorocha also disclosed that NEC endorsed the Federal Government’s plan to increase the contribution of the solid minerals sector to the nation’s treasury.
Accordingly, he said, following a presentation to the Council by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, NEC approved the appointment of professional revenue consultants to achieve this goal.
NEC also supported a presentation from the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola on the Ministry’s strategy to generate incremental power as a short term measure towards addressing current energy shortage in the country.
By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja.