National food summit dialogues critical to achieving MTNDP ― Finance Minister

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has said that the implementation of the National Food Summit Dialogues is critical to the achievement of the Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) and the Nigeria Agenda 2050.

In her opening remarks at the inception dialogue on the United Nations (UN) food systems summit held recently, stated that the outputs of the various food summit dialogues would form a critical component for the conclusion of the MTNDP and the Nigeria Agenda 2050, and would, as well, contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Nigeria.

Speaking on the essence of The Nigeria National Food Systems Dialogues (NNFSD), Ahmed said: “The NNFSD is required to improve nutrition security, reduce hunger and prevalence of malnutrition in line with the national food and nutrition policy for Nigeria.

“It is envisioned to create more inclusive, healthier food systems and encourage a collaborative approach towards building a sustainable food system.”

“In recent years, Nigeria has shown a clear commitment to the eradication of malnutrition. This is happening through the adoption and domestication of policies and costed strategic plans, which emphasise increased reliance on domestic funding; and a well-coordinated multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach (comprising government, CSOs, private sector and donors); backed by sustained high-level political commitment,” she said.

She said some of the commitment to eradicate malnutrition include, the national strategic plan of action for nutrition, the national policy on food and nutrition, the innovative national social investment programme (which includes the home-grown school feeding programme), the basic health care provision fund, and the National Council on Nutrition, and the development of various food and nutrition sector plans.

According to her, “We in Nigeria are at a critical crossroads. While we have seen some improvements in recent years, particularly in the areas of child nutrition and breastfeeding, we know that in order for these improvements to yield results, malnutrition (and other public health issues) must be addressed through the implementation of innovative policies and strategies.

“Further, we must continue to work collaboratively across the federal and state governments, and hand in hand with the private sector, and development partners. This is particularly true given the dual impact of COVID-19 and the drop in crude oil prices,” Ahmed noted.

The Minister said the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has been swift and people-oriented.

“It includes a fiscal stimulus package, amendments to the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF) and the 2020 Appropriation Act, and the launch of the multi-sector Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP).

“Our emphasis has been on protecting the economy and funding the country’s healthcare needs, with the COVID-19 response spurring necessary transformation and innovation in the fiscal space and beyond, she highlighted.

“This informed the rationale for making food and nutrition one of the key thematic areas in the MTNDP 2021-2025 and the Nigeria Agenda 2050 presently being developed by my Ministry in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

“The Dialogue is being organised in Nigeria in response to the UN Secretary-General’s call on world leaders to take part in a Summit that will help to establish the future direction for food systems and as well accelerate collective action to that end. This is in line with recognition that transforming food systems is pivotal in efforts to achieving all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030,” she added.

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Nigeria’s COVID-19 Infections, Recoveries, Deaths Dropped Last Week

Nigeria recorded a slight reduction in the number of COVID-19 infections, recoveries and deaths last week, Tribune Online analysis shows.

Last week (February 14 to 20), 5,849 new cases were reported in the country, the lowest in seven weeks.

The last time Nigeria recorded such a low figure was in the December 27 to January 2 week, when it reported 5,681 cases…National Food Summit Dialogues critical to Achieving MTNDP

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