Nigeria to increase funding on nutrition

Paul Oke, Abuja

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The Nigerian government is now more committed because it has put nutrition on the front burner of its agenda, providing the necessary funding, enabaling environment as well as policy guidelines.

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The President of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Professor Wasiu Afolabi made this known in Abuja while speaking at this year’s conference of the society.

Professor said there were strategies the government promised would be reviewed to reduce the bad status of malnutrition in Nigeria.

He said, “In this country, we have necessary policies in place like the multi-sectoral plan of action for of food and nutrition in Nigeria, which is a government document, we also have other sectorial poliies, in health, agriculture. but the problem has always been implementation, we have realised that even when funding was provided, the capacity of the workforce, must also be enhanced so that the fund being provided can be utilised efficiently and judiciously.”

The President said when the government inaugurated National Council On Nutrition on September 5th, 2022, made a commitment about the readiness of the to provide funding to tackle challenges of malnutrition headway.

He said in last year Council of Food and Nutrition meeting, government specifically mentioned that each of the ministries, department and agencies should identify means of implementing policies and directives on nutrition.

“What that means is that government is going to be committed by putting in place effective plan to include nutritional consideration in national development plan, which is going to be reviewed in 2025,” said Professor Afolabi.

“The society is working with all other stakeholders, especially, members in the National council on Nutrition to ensure implementation of that directive.”

Government will make nutrition a priority in the new development plan of the nation, involve stakeholders, particularly, the multi-sectoral departments and agencies, from agriculture, health, information, budget and national planning to reduce the scourge of malnutrition in the country.

According to Professor Ngozi Nnam, the President, African Nutrition Societies and Past President, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, the three days event is geared towards solving the problem of nutrition in Nigeria as nutrition is the foundation to national developent.

She said the programme focuses on leadership to improve on the workforce because nutrition was the foundation for building strong and healthy individuals that could make healthy contribution to improving and developing societies.

“We cannot talk about leadership without talking about improving nutritional quality of our society at large and when that is done, it is going to impact on what is on ground and helping nigeria attend the SDGs.”

Professor Ngozi said the Society had to carry out nutrition education and enlightenment campaign on what to eat, food combination and quantity size and moderation.

“For the poor, government should ensure that palliative can be scaled up to enable the poor be able to buy food and place it on their table.”

She urged the Nutrition Society of Nigeria to embark on advocacy visit and convince government to invest more money in nutrition, so that together the nation could build a nutritious society.