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FG assures speedy gazetting of trans-fat regulations

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Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora,
Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora,
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The Federal Government has restated commitment toward speedy gazetting of
Trans-fat free Nigeria through oil and fats regulations.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday when a group called #Transfatfree Nigeria coalition paid him an advocacy visit.

Transfat is an unhealthy substance made through the chemical process of hydrogenation of oils which solidifies liquid oils and increases the shelf life and the flavour stability of oils and foods that contain them.

Trans Fatty Acids (TFA) are found in vegetable shortening and in some margarine, crackers, cookies and snacks, as well as deep-fried foods.

The unhealthy substance both raise the ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol and lower the ‘good’ (HDL) cholesterol levels in blood, increasing the risk of heart disease.

Mamora then assured the ministry’s readiness to collaborate with the body on implementation and enforcement of trans-fatty acids regulation, and capacity building for National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) toward improved testing.

He also promised to follow up on the draft regulation on transfatty acids in the country.

He added that “it is not just finding out the cause of the delay in the passage of the TFA regulation but to move it forward. This is about the health of Nigerians.”

He stressed the need to have preventive measures, given the number of cooking oil sold in the open market so as not to place additional burden to an already stretched health sector.

He added that “the Fats and Oil Regulations 2019, when passed into law, will limit trans-fat to 2g per 100g of total fat in all fats, oils, and foods”

Mamora, while appreciating the efforts and work of the #Transfatfree Nigeria Campaign, said it was geared toward ensuring that the National Health Security was assured.

He urged the group not to restrict its work to the national level but to consider looking into the local foods that may be unhealthy.

While giving an overview of the campaign, Dr Jerome Mafeni, the Project Adviser, TFA Elimination, Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED), said the campaign handlers had been engaging with NAFDAC.

He added that the finalisation and gazetting of the regulations had experienced significant delays.

Mafeni requested the intervention of the minister toward expediting the passage of the regulations.

Dr Emmanuel Sokpo, the Country Head, Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED), expressed concern around morbidities associated with cardiovascular diseases from the COVID-19 infections pandemic.

Earlier, Joy Amafah, the In-Country Coordinator, Cardiovascular Health Programme, Global Health Advocacy Incubator, who stressed the
urgency in passage of the TFA Regulation, said that countries that started the process after Nigeria had already passed their regulations into law.

She said “this process started in 2019 and the campaign is advocating to the minister to use his good office to advance the quick finalisation of the regulations.”

Dr Maryam Al-Mansur, the Nutrition Policy Advisor, Resolve to Save Lives, Nigeria, (RTSL) , stressed the need to address the issues of trans-fatty acids in Nigeria to reduce comorbidities of cardiovascular diseases caused by COVID-19.

Al-Mansur highlighted other countries such as China, India and the Philippines among others that have passed the regulations into law.

Mr Akinbode Oluwafemi, the Executive Director, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA),  expressed the readiness of the coalition to collaborate with NAFDAC and Ministry of Health for effective implementation of the regulations when passed.

He said the regulations should be in compliance with the World Health Organisation (WHO) REPLACE package.

The REPLACE package is a global document and pathway to ensure that countries are free from the dangers of trans-fat.

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Health

Shaibu Relocates Office Out Of Edo Govt House

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Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy Philip Shaibu
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy Philip Shaibu
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The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shuaibu has commenced the relocation of his office to an area outside the vicinity of the Government House.

The development follows last of Shuaibu’s suit filed at the Federal High Court to stop alleged plots by week’s withdrawal   the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, to remove him from office.

The new office is situated at No. 7, Dennis Osadebey Avenue, close to the Government House.

Sources close to the deputy governor said  that a letter was sent by the Head of Service to the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor instructing her to supervise the movement of civil servants and files to the new office.

It was also gathered that the new office is not habitable as there is no electricity, is waterlogged, and the office spaces are significantly small.

The state government had however insisted that the deputy governor’s new office is within the confines of the area designated as the Government House.

 

 

 

 

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NARD SET TO CALL OF STRIKE AFTER SENATE’S INTERVENTION

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Senate President Godswill Akpabio, Senate Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, other members of the Senate with NARD officials
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••• Cancels Planned National Protest

Striking members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) are set to call off their two week old strike after a closed door meeting with Principal Officers of the Senate on Tuesday.

Adressing the media shortly after the closed door meeting with President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio and other Principal Officers of the Senate, National President of the association, Dr Emeka Innocent Orji, stated “we had a very fruitful meeting with the Senate led by the President of the Senate and from our discussions with them, we are very hopeful that when we table our discussions today before the NEC, something positive would come out.

“From our interaction with the President of the Senate and the practical demonstration he did before us today, we are very confident that there would be light at the end of the tunnel in the next 24 hours.

“Because of the intervention of the President of the Senate, who is the number three citizen and the assurance he has given us, our planned national protest has been cancelled while the decision on the ongoing strike would be taken as soon we meet, he assured.

Speaking in the same vein, Senator Akpabio, thanked the medical doctors for honoring the Senate by calling off their planned national protest and also working towards calling off the strike.

According to him, ” I thank you onbehalf of the Senate for honoring us with your decision not only to cancel the planned public protest, but to also call off the strike in the interest of the suffering masses.

“Your demands are well noted and let me assure you that as soon as a Minister in charge of Health is appointed, the Senate will work with him or her to expeditiously adress all your grievances. The President Bola Tinubu-led administration is Doctors friendly and that explains the large number of medical practitioners he has appointed into his cabinet.

“Strike by medical practitioners should not be allowed even for a day because of the impacts it creates in the polity and that is why the Senate is determined to ensure through interactions and consultation with relevant offices, amicable settlement of the impasse is reached,” he stated.

President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio (3rd from left), Dr Emeka Innocent Orji (middle) Senate Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele and Senator Ireti Kingibe (first from right)after a meeting with national officers of NARD in the office the President of the Senate on Tuesday.

 

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Nigerian-Made Noodles Safe To Eat, Says NAFDAC

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Noodles
Noodles
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The agency re-assured the public that it is proactive and committed to protecting the health of the public.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has certified noodles manufactured in Nigeria, saying they are safe for consumption.

The confirmation followed the Agency’s investigation into the presence of ethylene oxide or its metabolite in noodles or their seasonings.

This was made known by the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Moji Adeyeye, during a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday.

She noted that ethylene oxide or its derivative was not found in any of the instant noodles produced in Nigeria and their seasonings which make them safe for consumption.

The NAFDAC boss also declared that the level of mycotoxin and the heavy metals were within the internationally acceptable limit.

“Therefore, the noodles made in Nigeria are very safe to eat,” she stated.

Giving account of how the sampling of the noodles was conducted, she said, “Samples of chicken flavoured instant noodles of various brands (and the seasonings) were drawn from the production facilities across the country.

“This was to ensure that the investigation was robust, covering other instant noodles brands manufactured in Nigeria, besides Indomie, the implicated brand.

“The Post Marketing Surveillance Division also visited markets/retail outlets in the major cities of Lagos, Abuja, and Kano and drew samples of instant noodles for laboratory analysis.

“The market visits served as surveillance for the presence of the Taiwan and Malaysian special chicken noodles in the Nigerian market.

“The samples drawn from production facilities and trade were properly packaged and delivered in good condition to our Central Laboratory, Oshodi, Lagos, where analytical activities commenced immediately in accordance with international standards and methods of analysis.”

For the sampling, a total of 114 samples of instant noodles and the seasonings were received, the NAFDAC DG stated.

The agency re-assured the public that it is proactive and committed to protecting the health of the public.

 

 

 

 

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