Nigerians ingesting poison through food, says Ogbeh
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has expressed worry about Nigerians not eating well, saying a larger percentage of the population ingests poison.
Ogbeh, who spoke at the re-inauguration of an Inter-Ministerial Agricultural/Nutrition Working Group yesterday in Abuja, lamented that there were deficiencies in most Nigerian diets.
“There is crisis in Nigerian food sector because there is a great deal of self-poison in our diet. Just yesterday, I was talking with the Ministers of Science and Technology as well as Health about a great deal of metal poisoning in our food and the ingestion of dioxin through plastic pathogens among other things.
They pointed out that there was high consumption of carbohydrate, because many Nigerians cannot afford to have vitamins, protein in their diets.”Harping on changing the citizenry’s feeding habit, Ogbeh noted that many Nigerians prefer swallow foods like yam, cassava, sorghum, maize among others which are injurious to health.
His words: “How do we persuade people to take more of fruits as against the carbohydrate they are used to. For instance, it is an insult in some villages when you tell an elderly man to take banana instead of the pounded yam he is used to. That means most Nigerians are not eating well.”
The minister regretted that children do not have access to egg, chicken or beans, resulting in 37 per cent of malnourished children nationwide.“This is extremely dangerous because this figure represents one third of Nigerian children,” stressing on the need to give children balanced diet during the first five years to enable their brains develop well.
Ogbeh charged the committee to come up with the right formula for the country to improve its nutrition deficiencies, pledging that the ministry would provide the needed resources and collaborate with the ministries of Health, Women Affairs, Science and Technology and other agencies to boost the health of Nigerians.