The Federal government has directed all the implementing Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to align with the objectives and strategies approved for Food and Nutrition in the National Development Plan (NDP 2021-2025).
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba gave the directive in his opening remarks at the second meeting of the 2021 National Council on Nutrition held virtually in Abuja on Friday.
The last Council meeting was held on the 8th of July, 2020 at the instance of its chair and Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to deliberate on some issues bordering on food and nutrition implementation in the country.
Agba explained that the goals to be achieved during the plan period among others included the establishment of a viable system that would guide and co-ordinate food and nutrition activities undertaken in the MDAs and at all levels from the community to the national as well as the use of nutrition indicators for the monitoring and evaluation of development policies, plans and programmes.
According to him, other goals included the promotion of good indigenous food cultures and healthy dietary habits of Nigerians for a healthy living and development of habits and activities that would reduce malnutrition and improve nutritional status of the population, with emphasis on the most vulnerable groups such as children, adolescents, women, elderly, and groups with special nutritional needs.
“Other specific objectives are to address food insecurity issues in Nigeria and ensure Nutrition Security within vulnerable communities,” he further said.
The minister appreciated “the implementing MDAs and partners working very hard in their respective organizations to improve the nutrition indices in the country,” adding, “we therefore need to do more and work together as a team to address the enormous challenges affecting food and nutrition in the country.”
He said the second meeting of the 2021 NCN which was to be convened in December, last year, had to be rescheduled, adding that “This meeting provides us with another opportunity as stakeholders to give update in the implementation of food and nutrition as well as discuss the challenges in the course of the implementation.”
He recalled that one of the key actions from the last Council meeting, was a directive by the Vice-president that a copy of the one-year synthesised Multisectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition (NMPFAN July, 2021- June 2022) be shared to implementing MDAs.
“In line with the directive, the Ministry had shared the plan with the implementing MDAs and those MDAs are expected to provide status of implementation of this synthesised priority actions,” he added.