Dairy yogurt yoghurt milk butter cheese
Most of Nigeria's dairy products are imported.

NHF: 80% of Nigerian Dairy Products Are Imported 

For the commemoration of this year’s World Milk Day, the Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF) is speaking out against the indiscriminate circulation of unhealthy milk products in the country, revealing that the organisation’s research has shown that 80 per cent of dairy products consumed in Nigeria are imported.

Addressing journalists during the 2023 Commemoration of the United Nations’ World Milk Day in Lagos with the theme: Heart Healthy Milk, Nutritional Foods and Livelihoods, the Executive Director of NHF, Dr. Kingsley Akinroye, urged the new government of President Bola Tinubu to invest and expand home-grown production of milk to increase Nigerians life expectancy.

Akinroye who also dismissed insinuations that adults don’t need milk, said milk should be consumed right from the womb to old age.

“NHF is concerned about Nigerians living long through heart-healthy diets, hence the need for regular intake of heart-friendly milk in the country. Milk is food and it is a very important component of food we should be taking every day. We should take milk at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Milk is for everybody from the womb until 100 years.

Akinroye stressed the need for agricultural backup integration for the production of milk through the empowerment of farmers in the dairy business.

“In NHF, we are concerned about heart-healthy milk. Heart-healthy milk is milk that is low in saturated fat, has zero content of trans fat, low salt, and low sugar and that is why we are pushing the need to expand the production of milk in Nigeria. Our data so far tells us that not less than 80 per cent of the milk that we have today is imported into Nigeria and that is bad for our economy, health, and life expectancy economy of the country and bad for the population of farmers. It is not good for our children and our youth that need employment.

“If 50 per cent of the milk that Nigerians drink in Nigeria is produced within the country, a lot of people are going to be employed and a lot of children and adults are going to live healthily. “So, there is the need to expand milk production in Nigeria, and not only milk for the sake of it but a heart healthy milk.

“That area of agriculture needs to be expanded, and that is what we want our new President and Governors to focus on because we now know that milk is food and can make Nigerians live healthily. The country needs more investment in this area of agriculture.”

“If we start nursing good children with milk content in their body, they will grow with good blood vessels, and the biggest blood vessel in the body is the heart. Their hearts and bones will be very healthy and they are bound to live longer.”

Akinroye said that the NHF, in its 32 years’ existence had done a lot of advocacies on how Nigerians could live healthy and long through food labelling by working with the Federal Government.

Read Also: NAFDAC Apprehends Unhealthy Yoghurt Manufacturers

In his address, Prof. Tola Atinmo, Chairman of, the Nutrition Committee, NHF said that in 2001, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) established World Milk Day in recognition of the importance of milk as a global food.

“The World Milk Day provides an opportunity to focus attention, promote education on milk and raise awareness of dairy’s part in a healthy diet, responsible food production, and supporting livelihoods and communities. Dairy has a vital role in global food systems, providing economic, nutritional and social benefits to the population.”

He however said that in Nigeria, 37 per cent of about 31 million children under five years are stunted, according to official figures by the United States Agency for International Aid (USAID) as a result of malnutrition.

“Thus, the need for more production of milk for consumption and national economic growth. NHF celebrates the annual World Milk Day in view of the benefits of milk to Heart Health and Nutrition, as NHF is committed to feeding our population with Heart-healthy diets – with low saturated fats, low sugar, low sodium and zero transfats in the diet.”

Atinmo said that the FG’s school feeding programmes had been identified as an important social protection mechanism that provided good nutrition and education to children.

“Dairy’s well-known natural nutrient-richness provides an abundant supply of high-quality protein, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, iodine, and vitamin B2 and B12. Evidence shows that a quality education combined with a secure package of health and nutrition interventions at school, such as school feeding, can contribute to child and adolescent development and build human capital,” he added.

The Chairman, of Scientific Affairs, NHF, Prof. Adebayo Adeyemi, called for moderate, saying anything in excess could pose a danger to the body. He said a sachet of milk a day was enough for adults.

In his remark, Mr Victor Adeniran, the Brand Manager, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Nigeria Plc, maker of Three Crown Brand, said that the firm was partnering with the NHF to raise awareness about heart-healthy milk and promote a healthy lifestyle for Nigerians.

Adeniran said that the company had been working with dairy farmers to enable efficient ways of producing quality milk in the country as well as enhancing home-grown production of milk.

According to Mr. Kunle Abiola, the Sustainability Manager, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, the company is in line with the Federal Government Backup integration strategy and policy to collect up to 42,000 litres of milk from smallholders farmers across different milk collection centres daily.