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NEC seeks concerted action against malnutrition

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The National Economic Council (NEC) has welcomed a call from stakeholders to halt malnutrition and related issues in Nigeria.

The council, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo with membership drawn from governors of the 36 states, the FCT Minister and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, took the decision last Thursday after it received a presentation on the problem of malnutrition in the country.

The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, made the presentation to the council in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria.

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Sanusi, in his presentation titled “a Call for Action,” said “over 12 million children are stunted in Nigeria while 2.6 million are wasted annually due to malnutrition,” adding that Nigeria records the highest number of stunted children in Africa.

According to Sanusi, malnutrition accounts for 53 per cent of deaths among children. The Emir, who stated that the burden of malnutrition which includes stunting, under-weight, obesity and other diet-related non-communicable diseases, could be treated, said, “65 per cent of dietary energy supply is derived from cereals, roots, and fibres indicating low dietary diversity.”

Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, in a statement yesterday said NEC appealed to states and local councils to deal with the problem by investing more in issues relating to malnutrition, as well as a key into the World Bank-sponsored programme on nutrition.

Other presentations made to NEC were updates on Special Accounts of the Federation which include the balances on the Excess Crude Account as at January 20, 2020, which stood at $321,393,190.35 and the balance on the Stabilisation Account as at January 21, 2020, which stood at N31,840,200,473.17.

The presentation also included the balance on the Development of Natural Resources Account, which as of January 21, 2020, stood at N96,991,981,055.54 and the Budget Support facility deduction, which is in progress with N29 billion so far remitted to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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