By Chijioke Okoronkwo, Abuja.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says Federal Government’s efforts at tackling malnutrition and its attendant challenges are beginning to take shape.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said the vice-president spoke when he chaired a virtual meeting of the National Council on Nutrition.
The vice-president said that nutrition-specific budget estimates were likely to be included in the 2023 Appropriation Bill.
“We are at a point where we can move the needle, especially with the creation of nutrition departments in line ministries and ensuring that we get nutrition on the budget line and that it is actually done properly,” he said.
Osinbajo said that the council, with the approval of the President, had ensured that nutrition departments existed in several Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
He listed the MDAs as Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Humanitarian Affairs, Women Affairs, Information and Culture, Industry, Trade and Investment, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), among others.
During the meeting, presentations by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and Nigerian Governors Forum were made on the implementation of the National Multi-Sectoral Plan of Action on Nutrition, particularly with regard to the funding of nutrition activities in the country.
“We intend to follow up on all of these, especially in the coming days, working with the relevant ministers and the governors forum.
“And an important point that was made in the presentation earlier was that we need to do a chart of account; it is really important,” he said.
The meeting had in attendance Minister of Science and Technology, Sen. Adeleke Mamora, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouq, and the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mrs Olusola Idowu, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mr Aliyu Ahmed, and the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, also attended.
Members of the Board of Trustees such as Chairman, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Chief Executive Officer, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Ms. Zouera Youssoufou; representatives of the civil society and development partners, among others, also attended the meeting.