• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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FG approves plans that will cut malnutrition by 50%

Kogi records 22.7% in 14.5m children malnutrition cases

The federal government on Tuesday said it is working on plans that will see malnutrition reduced by 50%, as part of an effort to further improve the wellbeing of citizens

The 5-year nutrition action plan will guide the implementation of interventions and programmes to address the problems of hunger and malnutrition across all sectors in Nigeria has been approved by the National Council on Nutrition.

The Council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, approved the action plan titled the “National Multi-Sectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition (NMPFAN) 2021-2025” at its virtual meeting on Tuesday.

The approved plan will apart from reducing the proportion of people who suffer malnutrition by 50%, is also expected to increase the exclusive breastfeeding rate to 65%.

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A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, ( office of the Vice President), Laolu Akande, said It will also reduce stunting rate among under-five-year-olds to 18% by 2025 through the scaling up of priority high impact nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions.

The plan recommends the adoption and implementation of strategies aimed at improving the nutritional status of Nigerians by tackling undernutrition and stunting, among others.

Aside from the Vice President who chairs the Council, membership includes Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Health Minister, Minister of Water Resources, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, development partners, organized private sector, Civil Society Organisations, the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido, among others.

The Vice President welcomed suggestions for the adoption of extensive nutrition advocacy programmes to be driven by stakeholders across all levels of government and the private sector.

Offering the support of State governors in the actualization of the plan, Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, said his colleagues endorse the plan.

While commending the personal commitment of Vice President Osinbajo to the issue of nutrition in the country, the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido, said the same commitment will need to be demonstrated in the States, noting that taking the advocacy campaign to the State governors will be a crucial part of ending malnutrition in the country.

The former Emir of Kano noted that it was time to take nutrition issues more seriously.

On their part, stakeholders present at the meeting pledged their support for the implementation of the action plan aimed at addressing the menace of malnutrition in Nigeria.

Development partners, and the organised private sector, represented by Diego Moroso of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Zouera Youssoufou of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, respectively, said the adoption of the plan was commendable, calling for a holistic approach in order to address fundamental issues in the food system.

Other presentations made to Council include the National Food Consumption and Micro-Nutrient Survey 2021, the Food System Summit 2021, and the presentation on Nutrition for Growth Summit, by the Secretary, National Committee on Food and Nutrition, Chito Nelson.

Also today, the Vice President presided over the meeting of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) where the Council adopted the National Action Plan 6.0 for the retention of results delivered so far in the Ease of Doing Business reforms in Nigeria. The plan also aims at attaining the top 70 in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking by 2023.

Some of the new reform initiatives in NAP 6.0 will include a further reduction in the cost of business registration by simplifying the process and eliminating the need for agents. The impact of this cost reduction would mean a reduced burden on MSMEs and substantially increase Nigeria’s score in the global ranking and more importantly improve the business environment.

Another new initiative is the proposed reduction in the cost of electrical installations and new connections to the grid by eliminating import tariffs. The reduction in cost will lead to more new and affordable connections.

Those in attendance at the PEBEC meeting include Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo; Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi; Minister of the FCT, Mohammed Musa Bello; Head of Service, Folashade Esan, AMAC Chairman, Abdullahi Candido, among other top government officials.