Vice-President (Prof.) Yemi Osinbajo, SAN (3rd from right) and Other Dignitaries at the Presentation of Nigeria Food Systems Mapping Report in Abuja, FCT Photo: Vanguard

Government presents Nigeria Food Systems report as Osinbajo leads collaborations with UN

*For the Nigerian Government, our commitment to sustainable food systems is one of the key strategies for eliminating poverty across the country, says Vice-President (Prof.) Yemi Osinbajo, SAN

Isola Moses│ConsumerConnect

As part of effort being intensified to combat the menace of hunger, combat malnutrition, and reduce poor diet-related diseases, among others in the country, Vice-President (Prof.) Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, is leading the Federal Government’s collaborations with the United Nations (UN) to improve Nigeria’s Food Systems.

ConsumerConnect gathered the move is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda to lift 100million Nigerians from poverty into economic prosperity within a decade, and meet one of the globally acclaimed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Vice-President Osinbajo, who made the presentation at a Consolidatory Dialogue for the UN Food Systems Summit in Abuja, FCT, noted that the effort is aimed at addressing the menace of hunger, combat malnutrition, reduce poor diet-related diseases among others in the country.

Photo Collage of Nigerian Foods  Credit: ConfirmedNG

Earlier, the Federal Government and the United Nations were said to have led and held series of what was described as the ‘Exploratory’ public dialogues at national and sub-national levels that culminated in the presentation of the Nigeria Food Systems mapping report to state governments across the six geo-political zones.

In his presentation on the occasion, Osinbajo said besides the goal of realising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal and guaranteeing food security for a growing population in the economy, the sustainable food systems effort fits into the plan of the Buhari administration to eliminate poverty across Nigeria.

He stated: “For the Government of Nigeria, our commitment to sustainable food systems is one of the key strategies for eliminating poverty across Nigeria.

“We know that our target of lifting a hundred million Nigerians out of poverty within a decade is only achievable if we focus on substantially improving agriculture and food systems which assure us of not just good food, but also jobs.”

The Vice-President also said: “This perspective on addressing hunger, malnutrition, and poverty runs through our policy frameworks, including our recently launched National Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy, and our Nutrition Policy that addresses the issues of a sustainable and nutrition-sensitive food system.”

According to him, there is a need to develop more efficient food systems, and “our food system must be resilient enough to significantly impact nutrition security, and our collective efforts must reduce the malnutrition numbers.”

“We must realise that defining bold steps to improve food systems and by extension, food security ensures that children have improved health, early development, and increased intellectual and emotional readiness to learn.

“This translates to positive school engagement and improves the potential of children growing into healthy adults,” Osinbajo noted.

He said: “On the other hand, imagine a generation of adults who suffer arrested physical and mental health, and the social and economic burden on their families, their communities, and the nation. Imagine the implications of approximately 50 percent of Nigeria’s population being at risk if we do not get it right.”

The Vice-President urged all stakeholders to translate the recommendations of the dialogues to prompt action.

He added: “It would mean embracing the changes required in modernisation of farming practices, mechanisation, and reduction of post-harvest losses.”

“We must ensure that we practice environmentally sustainable production; we must empower our communities by creating jobs and livelihoods to sustain the food systems we desire.

“I have no doubt that the 39 dialogues held nationally and sub-nationally have been accessible to all stakeholders and able to identify those challenges that still clog our wheel of progress especially in the relevant sectors.”

President Buhari had previously named Osinbajo as Chairman of the Steering Committee to oversee the implementation of the National Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy.

He is also the Chairman of the National Council on Nutrition.

Other highpoints of the event were when Prof. Kola Amigo of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) presented the findings from the various UN Food Systems dialogues held in Nigeria, and a group of Nigerian children similarly voiced out their views on the dialogues.

Some State Governors, Ms. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), Nigeria’s development partners, and other dignitaries from the academia, private and public sectors attended the event in Abuja.

Other dignitaries at the event include Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Nanono; Health, Dr. Osagie Ehinare; Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed; Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, and the convener of the Dialogue, Mrs. Olusola Idowu.

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