By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The National Economic Council (NEC) has expressed concerns over the importation of some poisonous consumable goods into Nigeria.
The council, which met on Tuesday in Abuja, has called on the relevant agencies to tackle the issue and avert danger in the country.
At the meeting president over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, NEC urged the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to ensure only quality products are allowed in the country.
The council noted in dismay how frozen chickens preserved with very dangerous chemicals were allowed into Nigeria without checks.
Addressing newsmen of the outcome of the meeting yesterday, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State said, “We were concerned of some of the imported goods, some of the items imports into this country in the name of food and we have cautioned seriously that SON, NAFDAC and other agencies that deal with quality of goods should do their utmost best so that rubbish is not sent into this country in the name of food.
“We realized that some of the frozen chicken and fish imports into this country were being preserved with very dangerous chemicals. So we are of the opinion that this area should be looked into.
“And again, we all resolved that agriculture should continue to take the centre stage in this country for now so that our country will be able to feed itself. If we are not able to do this, employment for our youth would be a mere dream.”
Also, Mr Okorocha said the council endorsed the Federal Government’s plan to increase the contribution of the solid minerals sector to the nation’s treasury.
He said the Minister of Mines and Steel Development presented a Memorandum to Council on the need to engage Independent Professional Revenue Consultants to increase the contribution of the Solid Minerals Sector to the revenue of the Government of the Federation.
“The imperative of the memo therefore arose after a comprehensive review of the revenue generation profile of the mining sector and the need to plug avoidable revenue leakages, which occur due to the inadequacies inherent in the existing revenue collection systems.
“NEITI estimated total revenue from the mining sector at N31.449 billion and N50.2 billion in 2012 and 2013 respectively out of which only N1.9 billion and N2.01 billion respectively were remitted as Royalties to the FG.
“In addition, there were no records of royalty payment of as much as estimated billions of Naira worth from Gold, Precious Stone, Barites and other exported solid minerals
“The memo therefore became necessary now considering the economy downturn in the oil and gas industry, which has hitherto been the nation’s main source of revenue,” the Governor said.
He added that NEC backed the presentation from the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on the Ministry’s strategy to generate incremental power as a short term measure towards addressing current energy shortage in the country.
“DISCOS are encouraged to harness the estimated capacity of over 2,000 MW of unused/underutilized industrial/commercial generators fuelled by gas, oil and diesel that can be harvested.
“Such initiatives of harnessing such capacity to serve working target consumers are now progressing towards conclusion in Port Harcourt, Benin, Kaduna, Yola, Jos, Enugu, Ibadan, Ikeja and Eko distribution franchises with active support of the Ministry.
“Locating generation capacity close to the consumers is an effective way to deliver incremental power to rural communities were most Nigerians live, many without any electricity supply,” he told newsmen after the meeting.
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