Nigerian Vice President, Kashim Shettima, has recently charged the newly initiated National Council on Nutrition (NCN) with the prioritization of innovation and research in its journey of ensuring significant transformation in the nutritional landscape of the country. This call was made by Shettima in his address at the inauguration of the new National Council on Nutrition at the State House in Abuja. In his remarks, he appealed to all members of the council to grant this wish in the field of nutrition.
He said that it is necessary that the country embraces technology, implements digital solutions, and ensures investment in research and development to enable discovery of scalable and sustainable solutions for challenges facing nutrition in Nigeria. He stated that this step is in alignment with the country’s pursuit of Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It was also advised by the Vice President that Nigeria should harness the capacity of innovation and ensure prudent investments.
Collaboration for the enhancement of nutrition governance is needed.
Through this, the country can drive a fundamental transformation of the nutritional landscape in Nigeria, thereby fostering the creation of meaningful and lasting change. As the Chairman of the Council, the Vice President of Nigeria affirmed that there are challenges attached to the achievement of these set goals and targets. Therefore, it is a must that there is collaboration for the enhancement of nutrition governance, and to ensure widespread, and easy availability and access to nutritious food.
Also, the partnership should be responsible for the nutrition of optimal infants and young children, while encouraging education and awareness campaigns concerning these goals. The Chairman of the Council asserted that funding is very much required, however, there must be prioritization of streamlining processes, fostering genuine collaboration, and the implementation of practical strategies that would help the National Council on Nutrition (NCN) in overcoming the challenges before it. He added that a healthy nation is a happier and safer one.
It testifies to the prioritization of the nutrition of all Nigerians.
According to Shettima, the building of a healthy nation was the major reason for the inauguration of the national council. He stated that another purpose of the gathering is to stress that the quality of what is consumed is equally as significant as the quantity. It is also to ensure renewal of the commitment of the council to understanding the relationship between food and human security. The inauguration of the NCN testifies to the prioritization of the nutrition of all Nigerians in accordance with the agenda of President Bola Tinubu for its security in Nigeria.
Furthermore, Shettima stated that the newly inaugurated Council is prepared to drive political determination and the utilization of the country’s resources for the eradication of malnutrition. He highlighted these goals as the Council’s feasible means of achieving the outlined objectives in the National Policy on Food and Nutrition. He further expressed his confidence in the assembly of stakeholders in the council, saying they will ensure facilitation of comprehensive multi-stakeholder engagement that cuts across various sectors including health, social protection, agriculture, and the different levels of government.
Implementation of priority actions in the objective has begun.
There was also an acknowledgment of the support from stakeholders in the UN system and the private sector. The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Atiku Bagudu, said that this inauguration will further consolidate the achievements recorded in the sector. The Minister is more confident because of Nigeria alignment with the global objective to build Food Systems Transformation Pathways. He added that the implementation of priority actions in the objective has begun in all the states in the country, including the FCT.