The Federal government has on Tuesday approved a five-year nutrition action plan that would guide the implementation of interventions and programmes aimed at addressing the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the country.
The National Council on Nutrition headed 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 held in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, who disclosed this in a statement, said the programme was conceived by the government to improve the wellbeing of citizens.
According to him, the council membership comprised the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), the ministers of health and water resources, as well as the Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning.
Others are the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, development partners, organised private sector, civil society organisations and the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido.
He said the plan is targeted at reducing the proportion of people who suffer malnutrition by 50 percent, and increase exclusive breastfeeding rate to 65 percent.
Akande said: “It will also reduce stunting rate among under-five year olds to 18 percent 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.”
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.
The Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, said his colleagues endorsed the plan against hunger and malnutrition in the country.
In his remark, Lamido urged the state governments to demonstrate the same commitment in their states.
He said that taking the advocacy campaign to the state governors would be a crucial step toward ending malnutrition in the country.
Sanusi said the time has come for the government to take nutrition issues seriously.
“Stakeholders present at the meeting pledged their support for the implementation of the action plan aimed at addressing the menace of malnutrition in Nigeria,” the presidential aide added.