The Nigerian government is concerned about the economic impact of malnutrition, costing the country $1.5 billion a year in lost productivity and human capital development.
Abubakar Bagudu, the Minister for Budget and Economic Planning, said at the 53rd Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN) in Abuja that the government is determined to tackle malnutrition through the inclusion of nutrition in the National Development Plan (NDP 2021-2025) as well as “The Nigeria Agenda 2050”.
He urged experts in nutrition in the country to research and develop innovations that will boost nutrition and contribute towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ensure Universal Health Coverage, and bring about significant positive changes in the nutrition sector in Nigeria.
Bagudu also said that the government is strengthening nutrition leadership and workforce capacity, paving the way for improved health and development in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) has also identified areas of key commitments for the realization of a healthier citizen and country, including increasing budgetary spending on nutrition and strengthening the nutrition profile.
The NGF has resolved to resuscitate the state committee for food and nutrition for effective food nutrition across the country in addition to developing sectoral plan actions of food and nutrition in line with the national plan, among others.
The NSN President, Prof Wasiu Afolabi, commended the Federal Government for granting a Presidential directive for creating a Nutrition Department in line with Ministries and Agencies of Government and ensuring the nutrition budget and appropriation in 2023.