By Yusuf Akinlotan, Lagos
The World fish centre, Malaysia in Collaboration with the Lagos State University, (LASU) Ojo, has sought adequate seafood safety consumption in Nigeria.
The Malaysia based non profit international organisation which partnered the Fisheries Department of Lagos state University staged a 3- day workshop for the stakeholders on the need for national seafood safety certification.
According to a report, Nigeria is one of the highest consumers of sea food particularly fish in the world either locally produced or imported.
However, the quality assurance and safety of the seafoods consumption for Nigerians is of great concern to the organisers.
He spoke during 3-day seminar which was a national workshop on seafood safety certification in Nigeria held in the University.
The representative of Worldfish centre, Dr. Kelvin Shikuku identified problems in the fishery sector which prompted the need for Worldfish center partnering with recognised institution like Lagos State University with vibrant fisheries Department to reach out to consumers and stakeholders in the industry.
“In order to address the problems facing fish sectors, we can’t work in isolation but to embrace partnership with organizations and stakeholders so that the sector can growth in food safety and certifications,” he said.
In line with United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development goals( SDGs) Dr.Shikuku said safety of seafood for consumption captures major roles in the project, particularly in the aspect of No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being.
He said the project also emphasises Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Life Below Water, and Life On Land.
The necessity to establish Seafood certification in the country is as important as some Nigerian imported products which faced decertification by their end consumers abroad.
Explaining the aim of the workshop, the Head of Fisheries Department, LASU Professor Akintola Sheu, and chief facilitator of the workshop described the development as a technical barrier.
“Most times, Nigerian products are exported and it has become a technical barrier to allow fish products move out, because many of our products are decertified due to lack of requirements of the countries they are being exported to in terms of safety compliance,” he said.
He said Certification was the process of quality assurance that required products meeting up to minimum standard for which human being can consume them without any risk of associated problem from their consumption.
Major stakeholders that participated in the workshop included officials of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Director of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Lagos state, Federal Department of Fisheries, Federal College of Fisheries and Marine technology, Lagos, Fish framers and marketers,as well as other private entrepreneurs.
Professor, Akintola acknowledged the effort of the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Fagbohun Olanrewaju Adigun for creating an enabling environment for international organisations to associate with the department.