Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
Beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) are set to use 23 technology incubation centres of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to boost food production.
This is coming as PAP partners with the National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI) to improve the quality and certification of agricultural and other products of its beneficiaries trained and empowered in the agriculture and allied sector.
Towards this end, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme and the NBTI will be signed on Tuesday in Abuja.
A statement issued by Murphy Ganagana, Special Assistant (Media) to the PAP Coordinator, Prof. Charles Dokubo said this followed an approval granted the Programme by the Director General, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, to use 23 technology incubation centres allocated to it by the NBTI for cluster manufacturing by beneficiaries of the Programme.
The centres will be used by beneficiaries of the Programme trained and empowered in the agricultural sector to produce their products for the purpose of obtaining NAFDAC registration numbers with a view to enhancing quality and acceptability of products in the market.
Beneficiaries, who are trained on production of rice, garri, plantain-flour, plantain-chips, chin-chin, smoked fish, chicken, snail, fruit juice and cosmetics, among others, will benefit from the partnership.
The 23 NBTI technology incubation centres approved for the programme to be used by the beneficiaries are located in Edo, Abia, Imo, Ondo, Rivers, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Delta states.
Apart from the MoU with the NBTI, the Amnesty Programme Small Business Support Desk, an initiative of the Coordinator of the Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, is to ensure that all graduates of the programme vocational training centres trained on production of NAFDAC regulated products are registered for safety, efficacy, distribution and sale of their products.
The Small Business Support Desk headed by a deputy director, Mrs. Edotimi Preye Olive, is to foster greater understanding of NAFDAC registration procedures and also serve as a point of enquiry for clients on regulatory issues and assist in conducting Good Manufacturing Practice Inspection of Factories (GMPIF) to ensure that products are produced in accordance with international standards.
Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, had assured of his readiness to partner on technology incubation especially in the area of food production, when the management of the NBTI led by the Director-General, Dr Mohammed Jubrin, visited him in his office.
Dokubo said, “I think there is a necessity for us to work together to make sure that we can get those certifications that will enable people to consume what we produce, so that they will not create any harm for those who eat our products.
“I think there is a need for synergy between us because we do farming. I believe that if we go through the documents and understand everything, we will sit to have an MOU so that we can work directly with you.
“Then, we will know all that it takes to set up other centres in the Niger Delta as most of the things we do will equally go to those centres to be accessed and evaluated to know if they are edible,” he said..
Jubrin had also promised to quickly articulate a proposal for an MoU between the two agencies that will lead to quality food processing, production and manufacturing businesses.