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Osinbajo: new nutrition depts now in several FG ministries

Efforts by the Federal Government to tackle malnutrition and its attendant challenges are beginning to take shape, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo,  has said

He also said nutrition specific budget estimates are likely to be included in the 2023 Appropriation Bill.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande in a statement on Thursday said Prof. Osinbajo made those comments at a virtual meeting of the National Council on Nutrition which was chaired by the VP.

 “The Council with the approval of the President has now ensured that nutrition departments now exist in several Ministries, Departments and Agencies, including 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’’, the statement reads.

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 on the funding of nutrition activities in the country.

Inaugurates of donors forum for 2023 census

In another development, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the inauguration of a donor’s forum ahead of the 2023 Population Census restated the Federal Government’s commitment to investing in the development of the country’s human capital across different sectors, including health, education and nutrition, despite the growing population.

The Vice President who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande said “as a government, the most important objectives, both nationally and regionally, is to improve the quality of life, living standards and livelihoods of Nigerians”.

‘’Underscoring the political will demonstrated by the Buhari Administration towards the country’s development and welfare of its people, Prof. Osinbajo noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has demonstrated personal commitment in several ways, “including the fact that we are holding the census in the very year that we are going to have an election, considering the huge budgetary implications of that”, he said.

On the significance of a population census in an election year, the Vice President noted that “the data collected by Census would help the nation to make critical decisions regarding its future. 

“While we must adequately capture all the important indices of our great population, we will continue to make crucial investments in the development of our human capital, especially now when the population of the African continent is growing at an even faster rate when compared to the rest of the world.

The VP commended the Commission and its partners for their hard work and dedication in preparations for the 2023 Population and Housing Census.

A special documentary on Nigeria’s 2023 Census journey so far was also screened at the event, while the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who was represented by the Special Adviser on Policy and Coordination to the President, Dr Habiba Lawal; Chairman of NPC, Nasiru Kwarra; and the UNFPA Resident Representative, Ms. Ulla Mueller, delivered special remarks.

The Director-General of the Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze, who represented the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agah presented the budget for the 2023 Population Census.

Also present at the meeting were representatives of development partners; the diplomatic corps, including the ambassadors of France, Mexico, Botswana, Turkey; as well as representatives of the private sector, among others.

Writing by Annabel Nwachukwu