The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has hosted Stakeholders in the milled rice sector to a One-day Technical Committee meeting at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel, to deliberate on the draft of the Nigerian code of practice for processing and packaging of fortified milled rice.
Addressing members of the Technical Committee, the Director General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, acknowledged the continued support of the TC Members in the elaboration of market-driven standards and also those with public health importance by way of providing technical know-how, expertise, and experience in standards elaboration processes.
Mallam Salim, who was represented at the meeting by the Deputy Director and Head; of Foods and Codex Mr, Yunusa B. Mohammed, further appreciated the efforts of other Ministries and Agencies in creating a blueprint called the roadmap for scaling up rice fortification, which is aimed at reducing malnutrition in Nigeria.
He noted that addressing hunger and micronutrient deficiency remains a significant step towards promoting public health, accelerating national development, and achieving sustainable development in Nigeria.
The SON helmsman reminded the Committee that micronutrient deficiency contributes to the high rate of Morbidity and Mortality in children and is a leading cause of Anemia in women amidst other related health issues.
He, therefore, reiterated the importance of the code of practice as it would serve as a guideline and a recommendation to regulate the voluntary rice fortification regime in Nigeria and provide an opportunity for the industry to prepare for a mandatory rice fortification regime upon the elaboration of the Nigeria Industrial Standard for fortified milled rice.
The DG thanked the Chairman of the Technical Committee Meeting, Dr. Adu Oluwatosin,a professor of Biochemistry at Lagos State University, and also Committee Members for their commitment to the assignment and implored them all to do their best and make decisions in the best interest of the Nation.
Also speaking was the Chairman of the Working Group Committee, Professor Oluwatosin B Adu, who thanked the DG SON for the opportunity to chair this deliberation and implored the other stakeholders to put in their best on the assignment.
The meeting had stakeholders from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), UN World Food Programme(WFP), Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), and Institute of Public Analyst of Nigeria (IPAN), amongst others.