Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has announced an increased investment of about N3.8 billion by the Federal and state governments, especially for the procurement of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) to address malnutrition. Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement in Abuja, said the vice president spoke at the 2020 Virtual Conference on Nutrition in Nigeria.
The conference was organised by the Aisha Buhari Foundation in collaboration with some development partners. He said that the Federal Government was making progress in tackling the problem of malnutrition in the country through the implementation of various intervention programmes and increased funding.
Osinbajo said that the Federal Government had in the past few years, demonstrated commitment towards addressing the problem through increase budgeting for nutrition activities and targeting its Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) towards tackling malnutrition.
He said: “The administration ensured progressive increases in budgetary allocations to nutrition activities in the country. There has been an increased investment of about N3.8 billion by Federal and State governments, especially for the procurement of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF). There was revitalisation of the primary health care system with nutrition as the primary focus, the promotion of optimum breastfeeding and improved quality of complementary food.”
Osinbajo added that tremendous progress had been recorded as a result of the administration’s efforts in collaboration with other stakeholders. “Noticeably, there has been a decline in stunting and wasting; stunting, from about 44 per cent in 2017 to about 37 per cent in 2019 and wasting from 10.8 per cent in 2017 to seven per cent in 2019, plus an increase in exclusive breast feeding amongst children under six months, from about 24 per cent in 2017 to 29 per cent in 2019.”
The vice president said that the SIPs had also been helpful, particularly the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, for public schools which fed over nine million children across 34 States and the FCT, serving one nutritious meal every day. He added that the Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme had provided cash transfers to about 1.2 million beneficiaries so far, to boost income. Osinbajo said that improved collaboration and innovative thinking would be required to scale interventions and effectively address the problem. 247 News