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Affluent nations using dumping strategy to keep Nigeria food import dependent—Minister

The Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibril, on Monday in Abuja revealed that some rich nations have been working on unknown strategy to developing countries like Nigeria to keep Nigeria food import dependent.

He added that the plot which had been succeeding has forced some African nations including Nigeria to become dumping ground for inferior, substandard, expired and poisonous foods and feeds from such rich countries across the globe.

It would be recalled last week, former president Olusegun Obasanjo called on Indian industrialists doing business in Nigeria to stop using Nigeria as a dumping.

The minister made the revelation at a workshop organised by National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) and Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS) to build the collaboration of regulatory agencies.

According to him, “Nigeria has been marginalised and ostracised by many rich nations in the European Union which suspended some of our agricultural products, citing high volume of dichlorvos pesticide as its reason.

“This is a reflection of our inability to adhere to global standards, which has come to hunt us at the international level.

“And I made bold to say that we — the regulatory Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) — all contributed our fair share to this deplorable state of affairs.

“Although we all have our specific mandates; the lack of collaboration in carrying out the mandates in the face of limited resources has hampered and reduced our efficiency and effectiveness,’’ he said.

The Minister averred that now that modern biotechnology was becoming increasingly significant in addressing the emerging challenges of food security and renewable energy demand; stakeholders must work together for the good of the country.

Continuing, he said “With its perceived and real unintended consequences, we the regulatory agencies must unite with a sense of purpose, vision, mission and determination to ensure that our nation do not become a dumping ground”.

“And we must as well not run away from the benefits of the application of modern biotechnology and the use of genetically modified foods and feeds.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Director-General of NBMA, Dr Rufus Ebegba, said “Collaboration is key to success and we want to succeed in the use and application of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the country. That is why we are collaborating with line agencies to keep the country safe and healthy”.