The National Council on Nutrition has approved a five-year nutrition action plan that will guide the implementation of interventions and programmes to address the problems of hunger and malnutrition in Nigeria.
The council, chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, approved the action plan titled “National Multi-Sectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition (NMPFAN) 2021-2025” at its virtual meeting on Tuesday.
The vice-president’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement, said that the approval was in an effort to further improve the wellbeing of citizens.
Membership of the council include Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), the ministers of health and water resources, as well as the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning.
Others are the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, development partners, organised private sector, civil cociety organisations and the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido.
The plan is targeted at reducing the proportion of people who suffer malnutrition by 50 per cent, and increase exclusive breastfeeding rate to 65 per cent.
It will also reduce stunting rate among under-five year olds to 18 per cent 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.
Osinbajo 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 Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, said that his colleagues had endorsed the plan.
In a remark, Lamido underscored the need for states to demonstrate the same level of commitment in efforts to tackle the menace of malnutrition.
He said that taking the advocacy campaign to the state governors would be a crucial step toward ending malnutrition in the country.
The former Emir of Kano said that it was time to take nutrition issues more seriously.
Stakeholders present at the meeting pledged their support for the implementation of the action plan, aimed at addressing the menace of malnutrition in the country.
The vice-president also presided over the meeting of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
In the meeting, 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 would include further reduction in the cost of business registration by simplifying the process and eliminating the need for agents.
The impact of this cost-reduction strategy would mean reduced burden on Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and substantially increase Nigeria’s score in the global ranking and, more importantly, improve the business environment.
Another initiative is the proposed reduction in the cost of electrical installations and new connections to the grid by eliminating import tariffs.