Stakeholders in the nutrition sector have called for improved investment in the budget line for nutrition in different ministries in the country.
The experts said nutrition should be given more visibility even as the midterm action plan on nutrition is ongoing in different ministry in Nigeria.
Speaking at an advocacy visit organised by C-SUNN, Mrs Chito Nelson, Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Budget, and Head of Nutrition, called on the Federal Ministry of information and Culture to support in disseminating right information to the citizen regarding nutrition.
“Nutrition issues are usually endemic, and of high priority to mothers and children in the society. We want you to support us in sensitizing Nigerians on the need to consume a balanced diet. Mothers should give their children food with the right nutrients.”
“We are aware of the key role of your ministry, and we want you to support us in reaching the targetted audience. Some mothers give their babies food that is not properly prepared. We want to see an improvement in the diet of mothers and children”.
She also urged the Ministry of information to create a space for nutrition desk officer, which will serve a great role in information management and dissemination.
The Executive Secretary of C-SUNN, Mrs Beatrice Eluaka, said Nigeria still rank second globally with the highest burden of nutrition.
“Our children are suffering from malnutrition which is not encouraging at all. We need to improve the nutritional value of our children so as not to distort their mental development. The time to make a difference is now.”
Mrs Eluaka said C-SUNN has been supporting the government in its advocacy.
” We rely on evidence to develop briefs that we use for our program. We have been working with partners to get evidence and track events that are nutrition-related.We are in this together, that is why we are partnering with other ministries to get the desired result”.
According to her, 2% of children are now obese, and the burden of over nutrition is being added as well.She urged Nigerians to reduce their fat intake, as it leads to cardiovascular disease.
The Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Dr Mrs Ifeoma Anyawutaku said nutrition will be included in the midterm budget.
“Even though we are challenged by funding, we will continue to intensify efforts. We have realized the importance of nutrition, and we will not give up now”.