Lagos places zero tolerance on agro-terrorism, assures on food safety
As part of its commitment towards ensuring food security, the Lagos State Government has announced zero tolerance against distribution of unwholesome foods and all forms of food poisoning in the State.
Speaking at a special Lecture/Induction and Awards Presentation organised by Institute of Security at the University of Lagos Main Auditorium recently, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Food Security, Mr. Ganiyu Sanni Okanlawon said government will leave no stone unturned in ensuring wholesomeness in the process and distribution of foods that residents of the State consume.
Commending the Institute of Security, Nigeria for organising and choosing the theme “Agro terrorism and Biological Crime’’ the Special Adviser said the lecture and topic is very apt and relevant especially when all hands are on deck to promote food security and encourage investment in agriculture.
He said it is necessary to monitor the whole process of food handling and distribution until it gets to the final consumers, adding that the office of Food Security is already proposing setting up Food Marshals Corp that will be positioned in various market across the state for proper monitoring.
Okanlawon said the Food Marshal Corps will be trained on food hygiene and handling, and they will work together with the market executives in various markets to inspect food that are brought into the state.
He disclosed that over the years, government through the Ministry of Agriculture has built a vibrant relationship with the farmers, which made it easy for government to respond fast to any reported issues of agro crises.
Citing examples of government response to the outbreak of Bird Flu in the state when thousands of birds were depopulated as control measures in some poultries at Ajah, Okanlawon said various reports has reached the office of food security on some processors that engage in the use of unhygienic chemically contained materials to process their products before taking them to the markets without considering the effect of their acts on the consumers of such products.
He disclosed that some people use carbide to ripen plantains, banana and some other fruits while some processors use formalin to preserve chicken, turkey and beef before getting it to the markets.
The Special Adviser stated that government is very much aware of all the unhygienic and unwholesome practices stressing that government is not relenting in its efforts to curb food poisoning in the state.
Soliciting for the support of the residents in the drive at ensuring that they are fed with safe food from farm to the table, Okanlawon implored Lagosians to expose and make formal report of any known food processor and handlers that are suspected of insanitary and unwholesome practices.
Also speaking at the event, a renowned security expert and chairman of the occasion, Dr. Ona Ekhomu advised the Lagos State government to be more pro-active in the struggle against agro terrorism, he however commended the state Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode for establishing the office of Food Security at the most appropriate time.
The high point of the event was the conferring of the Institute of Security Fellowship Award to the Special Adviser on Food Security, Mr Sanni Okanlawon and 18 Professors and 29 prominent Nigerians.
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