The Federal Government has launched the performance management system on Nutrition in Nigeria to combat the level of hunger and malnutrition in the country.
The Permanent Secretary Budget and National Planning, Nebeolisa Anako
said the launch was aimed at demonstrating a score card on nutrition governance systems and promoting accountability within the system.
He said it will identify gaps which will help produce body of evidence required to improve nutrition programming at all levels.
The Permanent Secretary added that the war in Ukraine and the recent devastating flood experience in the riverine area of the country has resulted in lower incomes and higher prices of food items thereby putting food out of the reach of many Nigerians.
“These occurrences has undermined government efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2: on “Zero hunger.” The Global Hunger Index Report, ranks Nigeria 103 out of 122 countries with a score of 27.3, thus portraying a high level of hunger in the nation.
“The negative effect of the global outbreak of COVID-19 is still with us and may linger for a longtime if nothing deliberate is not done. Our challenge has been further accentuated by the impact of climate change, increasing cases of insurgency, kidnapping, armed banditry and other vices plaguing the country”, he said.
Anako noted that research has shown that investments in nutrition prevents undernutrition, build human capital, boost shared prosperity and improve health outcomes.
“The time to act is.now, returns from programmes for improving nutrition far outweigh their costs, while delay or failure in addressing malnutrition has high costs in term of higher budget outlay, as well as lost GDP, and this makes investment in nutrition compulsory”, he said.
The Deputy Director Nutrition, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mrs Chinto Nelson explained that the high consumption of processed food causes more harm to the body system.
She added that the high consumption of processed food has led to high rate of cancer among young and old people.
“We are encouraging FCT residents to plant food in their environment.We know some individuals who have garden in their houses, and they harvest vegetables and corns,and some even sell to their neighbours.
The objective of this program is to sensitize the populace to engage in healthy eating and reduce consumption of highly processed foods”, she said.
The Senior Programme Manager CS-SUNN Dr Goodness Anyanwu, urged stakeholders
to sensitize the populace about relevance of good nutrition.
She also suggested the use of social media adverts to pass relevant message to the public.
In the same vein, she suggested that nutrition summit can be organised where Nollywood Ambassadors will be contracted to propagate the message of nutrition.
“Information about consumption of healthy foods should not be just a roundatable event. Awareness should be done on a regular basis. All the messages from the ambassador can now be streamed on multiple channels”, Anyanwu said.