CAPPA – Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa

Nigeria’s Upcoming Fats and Oils Regulations: A Step Forward for Public Health and Food Safety

On December 16, 2022, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) held a sensitization and media event in Lagos, Nigeria for small and medium enterprises in the fast-moving consumer goods industry. The event was attended by 32 participants, including food producers, managers, and operation officers. The purpose of the event was to provide information about Nigeria’s soon-to-be-gazetted Fats and Oils Regulations, 2022.

The Nigerian government through the National Agency for Food & Drug Administration (NAFDAC) and the Federal Ministry of Health has been working to enact an improved regulation for trans fatty acids in the country’s food supply chain since 2018. This effort is in line with a global mandate championed by the World Health Organization to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fat from the world’s food supply chain.


In his opening remarks, Akinbode Oluwafemi, Executive Director, CAPPA, noted that after nearly four years of intensive work, the journey towards an enhanced regulation on transfat in Nigeria was almost at its end. Presently, NAFDAC has completed its update on the fats and oils regulations. This update was further reviewed by the Ministry of Health with the final document now awaiting the approval of the Ministry of Justice. Akinbode specially thanked NAFDAC for being a worthy champion and partner-in-the work towards a regulation on transfat in Nigeria.


According to a goodwill message delivered by Ms. Joy Amafah, Nigeria Coordinator, Global Health Advocacy Incubator, a gazetted regulation on transfat will elevate public health in Nigeria and help reduce the rising cases of non-communicable diseases like cancer, and obesity, often triggered by the heavy consumption of food containing transfat. She also remarked that the passage of the fats and oils regulations will place Nigeria on the map as the second country in Africa to have such a regulation.[spacer height=”25px”]

A presentation delivered by Mr. Abdusalam Ozigis who represented the Acting Director General of NAFDAC, Ms. Monica Eimunjeze, enlightened participants on the provisions of the Fats and Oils Regulations, 2022, including the negative impact of partially hydrogenated oils and trans fatty acids on human health. The reviewed Fats and Oils Regulation of 2022 applies to all edible fats, oils, and foods containing these products that are manufactured, imported, exported, advertised, sold, distributed, or used in Nigeria.


The Regulation requires that these products be registered and meet certain quality standards. For example, they must be sourced from either vegetable or animal origin, and must not contain impurities such as heavy metals, petroleum products, foreign particles, or naturally occurring impurities like gossypol. In addition, edible fats and oils must not contain any foreign matter, have a rancid odour or taste, or contain dyes like azo. The regulation also includes provisions related to labelling. For example, refined oils must be labelled with the specific name of the oil and, if it is a blend of multiple sources, the specific names of the oils must be listed in the ingredients.[spacer height=”25px”]

Violations of the Regulation can result in fines and imprisonment for individuals, and fines for organizations. The reviewed Fats and Oils Regulation of 2022 specifies the following penalties for violations of its provisions:[spacer height=”25px”]

For individuals: imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or a fine not exceeding N800,000.00 (Nigerian Naira), or both.[spacer height=”25px”]

For organizations: a fine not exceeding N5,000,000.00 (Nigerian Naira).[spacer height=”25px”]

Additionally, the regulation specifies that directors, managers, secretaries, and other similar officers of organizations can be held liable for offences committed by the organization unless they can prove that the offence took place without their knowledge, consent, or connivance. These individuals can be punished in the same manner as if they had personally committed the offence. Finally, the regulation allows for the forfeiture of any assets or property constituting proceeds derived from or obtained as a result of the offence, as well as any property or instruments used in the commission of the offence.[spacer height=”25px”]

The interesting presentation generated robust exchanges from participants who also thanked the NAFDAC representative for sharing with them the latest provisions of the improved Fats and Oil Regulations, 2022. The meeting concluded with pledges by all participants in the room to work together with NAFDAC and other relevant bodies to eliminate transfat and improve Nigeria’s public health systems and processes.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Reports