LAGOS, 8 February 2017 – The interconnection between food safety, public health, investment and food trade was examined at the first Nigerian Food Safety and Investment Forum which concluded today in Lagos, Nigeria.
The two-day event brought together key stakeholders from public institutions, the private sector, international organizations, academia and civil society to exchange global and local best practices and expertise in food safety and value chain enhancement, as well as to discuss investment opportunities and new business partnerships in the food sector.
The forum was organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in partnership with the European Union, the Government of Nigeria and the Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) in Nigeria within the framework of the EU-funded National Quality Infrastructure Project (NQIP) for Nigeria.
Participants emphasized the essential role of a robust quality infrastructure and quality culture in ensuring food safety, and acknowledged that food safety is a shared responsibility of all. They called for the strengthening of regulatory policy, further value chain development and greater knowledge-sharing in the field of food safety.
Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, Director of UNIDO’s Trade, Investment and Innovation Department, highlighted that investment plays a critical role in national prosperity, and a multi-stakeholder approach is essential in food safety and investment.
“Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals would require global investments far beyond the current levels. This forum is a milestone in this regard and is a crucial step on Nigeria’s path to achieving the SDGs,” said Calzadilla-Sarmiento.
The forum was attended by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Innocent Ogbeh; the Minister of Health, Isaac F. Adewole; and representatives of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
Participants also expressed their commitment to organizing subsequent events to further explore avenues of food safety and investment cooperation.
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UNIDO’s Trade, Investment and Innovation Department