Minister promises implementation of revised National Policy on Food and Nutrition
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Ikanade Agba, has said that the ministry would provide effective coordination and oversight role towards implementation of the revised National Policy on Food and Nutrition at the national and sub-national levels.
Agba gave the assurance while delivering a goodwill message at a virtual conference on nutrition on organised by the Aisha Buhari Foundation. The conference was themed “Innovative Financing Options for Nutrition; unravelling the bottlenecks.”
The minister stated that, given the role of the ministry as the secretariat to both the National Council on Nutrition (NCN) and National Committee on Food and Nutrition (NCFN), the coordination and oversight would also be extended to the multi-sectoral plan of action for food and nutrition in order to reduce the burden of malnutrition in the country.
He assured stakeholders that the ministry would continually engage the sectoral Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to prioritize nutrition-specific and sensitive interventions.
The minister said that “malnutrition leads directly to suffering and death and slows down development.”
He noted that “Nigeria’s contribution to under five and maternal mortality in the whole world is not commendable, hence the present administration highly prioritises reduction of malnutrition in its cardinal project objectives for the country.
“It is on the basis of this, I believe, that the organisers of this great event have carefully selected the theme of this year’s conference to demonstrate the linkage between resource allocation and malnutrition.”
Agba stated that “considering dwindling government resources, there is need for alternative innovative financing to be supported by the private sectors and donor community.”
The minister, however, lamented that the advent of COVID-19 and lockdown of both global and local economies had negatively impacted on the gains so far achieved by the President Muhmmadu Buhari administration.
He assured stakeholders that the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, in line with its broad mandate of coordinating food and nutrition-related activities in the country, would continue to provide effective leadership in ensuring that optimal nutritional status for all Nigerians as outlined in the National Food and Nutrition policy, was achieved.
Agba stated that “We have deliberately created a Thematic Working Group on Nutrition in the Successor Medium-Term National Development Plans 2021 – 2025 and 2026-2030 and the perspective plan-Nigeria Agenda 2050 because of the importance of nutrition to national development.”
He applauded the first lady, Aisha Buhari for “the very commendable humanitarian service that she is providing through her Foundation for Nigerian women, youths and children.”
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