MORE than 200,000 Nigerians die annually from food poisoning caused by food contamination during food processing and preservation.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr. Bitrus Bako Nabasu, disclosed this at the opening ceremony of a one-day workshop on food safety for staff of the ministry, held in Nasarawa State.
He was represented by the director, Chemical Technology Department, Mr. Oyefeso Akinyemi.
According to him, 90,000 cases of food-borne diseases are recorded in Nigeria annually.
He added that this statistics makes it imperative and urgent for appropriate authorities such as the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to pay greater attention to food safety matters.
Nabasu said that the ministry was committed to partnering with relevant stakeholders in the provision of scientific evidence-based data which would be useful in the elaboration of food standards by local and global food standards-setting bodies.
The permanent secretary urged participants at the workshop to henceforth serve as food safety champions in their various domains.
Earlier, the director of Health and Biomedical Science Department, Mr. David Erphabahimu, said everyone has a special role to play in ensuring that the food consumed by Nigerians is free from contamination.