BY OBUTE JAMES
A bill seeking for the establishment of Nigeria Food Vendor Bio-Data Collation Agency has scaled Second Reading in the House of Representatives.
Leading the debate on the bill on Tuesday 5th October, 2021, Hon Abubakar Yunusa Ahmad representing Yamaltu-Deba Federal Constituency of Gombe State stated that the bill intends to establish the proposed agency to amongst other things, generate adequate data for accountability against mismanagement in preparing/handling food for public consumption as well as for the strict adherence to food hygiene in order to avoid food poisoning and diseases resulting from negligence in food processing.
The long title of the blll: “A Bill for an Act to Establish Nigeria Food Vendors Bio Data Collation Agency with the Function to, among others, Regulate Train and Engage in Bio-Data Capturing of all Food Vendors in Nigeria in order to Develop a Standard Food and Water Vendors Identification Number for easy Traceability System of any Food Poisoning and Mishandling cases and also Collaborate with Financial Institutions both Nationally and Internationally to Empower the Food Vendors with Funds as Soft Loan to enable them acquire the necessary Food Processing Machines and other Food Equipment to enable the Food Vendors meet up with International Standard Requirement of Food Safety and Hygiene Practice; and for Related Matters (HB. 1505).”
The objectives of the bill if passed into law include to provide for food safety and food hygiene education and enlightenment; training of all food and water vendors business owners and operators in Nigeria; surveillance and monitoring of food vendors and sales attendants; prevention of food contamination through enlightenment and public private partnership among others.
He stated that the agency would cover other areas also not covered by the mandate of NAFDAC, especially in the processing of menial/staple food. The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House committee on healthcare services.