Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology (NiCFoST)
The Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology (NiCFoST) is a Federal Government Council under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST). It was created by an Act of Parliament with the mandate to regulate the practice and profession of the Food Science and Technology in Nigeria. Pursuant to this, NiCFoST is thus responsible for the regulation of the training in the disciplines of Food Science and Technology, Beverage Science and Technology, Food Science, Food Technology in tertiary institutions working in collaboration with National Universities Commission (NUC) and the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE). It shall also grant practice license to qualified Food Scientists and Technologists and approve the business locations for their practice.
The Discipline of Food Science and Technology is multi-disciplinary. It inculcates the knowledge and skill of handling foods and their raw materials in such a manner that will reduce or even eliminate waste; promote food security, assure safety in storage, preservation, distribution, processing, presentation, packaging, and consumption, thus, ameliorating the burden of foodborne illnesses/diseases which adversely undermine citizens’ wellbeing and Nations’ socio-economic health. A country with a functional Food Science and Technology discipline built into its growth strategy, is more likely to succeed in growing its economy through value addition to agricultural commodities and job creation for our teeming youths.
The Council’s functions below, if adequately implemented, will mitigate the unprofessional practices and mismanagement of sensitive activities/operations along the food value chain that lead to occurrence of preventable foodborne diseases, malnutrition/undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency disorders and deaths in some instances. These problems have made it very difficult to promote food value addition businesses including export of food products. The activities of the Council will ensure availability of highly skilled Food Scientists and Technologists which will in turn contribute to the industrialization plans of the Federal Government, increase export potentials, and grow the food processing and preservation sectors.
To promote the highest standards in the training and practice of the Food Science and Technology profession in Nigeria.
Efficient professional management of the various segments of the Nigerian food value chains and supply systems following current best scientific practices for food security.
- Determine the standards of knowledge, exposure to equipment, practice, and skills to be attained by persons seeking to become members of the profession of Food Science and Technology and to be so registered.
- Promote the highest standards of competence, practice and conduct among the members of the food profession.
- Establish and maintain a register of persons entitled to practice the Food profession, register premises used for that purpose and publish list of persons and premises so registered.
- Determine the minimum scale of fees for members of the Food profession.
- Coordinate, regulate, facilitate, and promote the development of the profession in Nigeria.
- Be responsible for the discipline, promotion and the determination of the terms and conditions of service of the employees.
- Perform other functions as are necessary for attaining the objectives of this Act.
Meet Our Registrar/Chief Executive Officer
Nkechi Veronica Ezeh is a native of Nanka in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra and a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST).
She is the pioneer Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology (NiCFoST), a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology. NiCFoST was created by the 2019 Establishment Act of the National Assembly to regulate the training and practice of Food Science and Technology profession in Nigeria.
Her public life started in National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology where she was a Chief Scientific Officer. She graduated from one of the leading Universities in Nigeria; the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1984 with a B.Sc (Hons.) Degree in Food Science and Technology.
Armed with a Master’s Degree (M.Sc Hon.) in Food Technology/Quality Assurance (2008) from the prestigious University of Reading, United Kingdom, her quest to contribute to a food regulatory Agency became more intense. The dream was fulfilled when she transferred her services to NAFDAC.
Her expertise and contributions to the activities of the Establishment Inspection Directorate in NAFDAC saw to the professional recognition of members of Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology who work in NAFDAC.
Also, her passion for food safety in general, contributed in no small measure to the establishment of the National Food Safety Management Committee (NFSMC). The Committee was established to drive the implementation of ‘National Policy on Food Safety and its Implementation Strategy’ to enhance International Best Practices in the food sector that will lead to consumer protection against fraudulent practices, supply of unwholesome and sub-standard foods.
She brought her expertise to bear on various food activities in NAFDAC including food fortification programmes to mitigate micronutrient deficiencies especially as they affect children and the vulnerable; Breastmilk Substitutes (BMS) programme to promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life and reduce the influence of marketers which tend to discourage mothers from breast feeding their babies; Codex Alimentarius activities that set food standards that nations must adopt; and creation of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Directorate (FSAN) in 2012. She headed the FSAN Directorate following the retirement of the pioneer Director and retired as the Head, Investment Facilitation Programme in One-Stop Investment Centre (OSIC) that provides efficient and transparent services to investors in Nigeria.
She is married with 3 children.