Kaduna (Nigeria) – Nigeria’s Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said that government in collaboration with the Nutrition Society and Partners is committed to curbing food and nutrition insecurity in Nigeria.
The Minister made this known on Monday while briefing newsmen in Abuja as part of activities lined up to mark the 2016 Nutrition week in Nigeria.
According to her, Nigeria has the highest burden of malnutrition with over 11 million stunted children which is the highest in Africa and the second in the world.
A statement by the Ministry’s assistant director of press, Salisu B. Haiba noted that, the minister said government has approved the National Policy on Food and Nutrition (NPFN) which was formulated by the National Committee on Food and Nutrition to deal with the multi-faceted problem of food and nutrition by using a multi-sector disciplinary program approach.
She explained that the NPFN, is a 10 year blueprint for eradicating malnutrition for sustainable economic growth and development in Nigeria. She said, “The vision of the policy is to have a country where the people are equitably secured in food and nutrition with high quality of life and socio- economic development, contributing to human capital development objectives of NV20:2020, while the goal is to attain optimal nutritional status for all Nigerians with particular emphasis on the most vulnerable groups such as children, adolescents, women, elderly and groups with special nutritional need.”
The minister also disclosed that the revised national policy on food and nutrition launched by wife of the president Aisha Buhari, will reduce the proportion of people who suffer hunger and nutrition by 50% in 2025, increase exclusive breastfeeding rate from 17 % in 2013 to 65% by 2025; as well as increase the percentage of children age six and above who receive appropriate complementary feeding from 10% in 2013 to 40% by 2025.
In his remarks, the minister of Information and Culture Lai Muhammed, said the fight against malnutrition in Nigeria should not be left for the federal government alone but by all stakeholders including the private sector.