The National Council on Nutrition chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday approved a five-year nutrition action plan that will guide the implementation of interventions and programmes to address the problems of hunger and malnutrition across all sectors in the country.
The action plan was meant to further improve the well-being of citizens.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘National Council on Nutrition approves five-year plan to reduce hunger, malnutrition and increase breastfeeding in Nigeria’.
Akande said the action plan titled, ‘National Multi-Sectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition 2021-2025’ was approved at the council’s virtual meeting on Tuesday.
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, organised private sector, Civil Society Organisations, the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido, among others.
The statement read, “The approved plan will reduce the proportion of people who suffer malnutrition by 50%; increase exclusive breastfeeding rate to 65%.
“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.”
Akande quoted Osinbajo as welcoming suggestions for the adoption of extensive nutrition advocacy programmes to be driven by stakeholders across all levels of government and the private sector.
He said offering the support of state governors in the actualization of the plan, Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, said his colleagues endorsed the plan.
The statement added, “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.”