The Minister for Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Abubakar Bagudu, has said that there is a need for members of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN) to prioritise innovation and research.
He said this would help the country towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage.
The minister spoke at the 53rd Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the NSN in Abuja.
He said Nigeria required nutrition professionals who have extensive knowledge, good communication skills to address nutrition education, emotional intelligence as well and a good understanding of self-motivation and drive to address nutrition dynamics.
While saying that Nigeria loses $1.5bn in GDP annually due to micronutrient deficiencies alone, he said statistics show the tremendous economic impact of high levels of malnutrition for prolonged periods on the economy.
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Bagudu expressed confidence that through collective efforts, there would be improved health and development in Nigeria.
“As members of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, we are part of a community that is uniquely positioned to lead the charge in addressing our nation’s nutritional challenges. Our shared commitment to improving nutrition and public health, our dedication to evidence-based practices, and our collective wisdom make us a formidable force for positive change,” the minister said.
Bagudu restated the commitment of the ministry to strengthen the coordination and provide the required leadership for the nutrition sector.
The governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, said the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) had identified areas of key commitments for the realisation of a healthier citizen and country including increasing budgetary spending on nutrition and strengthening the nutrition profile.
He disclosed that the NGF had resolved to resuscitate the state committee for food and nutrition for effective food nutrition across the country in addition to developing sectoral plan actions of food and nutrition in line with the national plan, among others.