June 15, 2024

Nutrition top priority in our food security agenda – VP Shettima

Vice President Kashim Shettima has unveiled an ambitious plan to improve nutrition across Nigeria, calling on faith and traditional leaders to champion their communities’ efforts.

Speaking at a high-level dialogue on nutrition at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, the Vice President stressed that Nigeria’s future readiness hinges not just on food abundance but on the nourishing quality of its food supply.

The one-day dialogue with the theme, “Faith Leaders as Catalysts for Enhanced Human Capital Through Nutrition,” was organised by the National Council on Nutrition and the World Bank-assisted Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria, ANRiN, project.

“We must proclaim to the world that our commitment to producing food of unparalleled richness is not rhetoric,” Shettima declared, noting that “this gathering is a solemn pledge to safeguard our well-being and preserve the legacy of generations yet to come.”

The Vice President appealed directly to the religious and traditional figures in attendance, calling them “prime cultural influencers” and a “gateway to a Nigeria defined by mutual understanding, peace, unity and social cohesion.”

The VP restated President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to prioritising nutrition as part of Nigeria’s food security drive.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has demonstrated his commitment to prioritising nutrition as an integral component of our quest for food sufficiency. This is our inspiration to implement quality, cost-effective nutrition services.

“From providing support to pregnant and lactating women to ensuring the well-being of adolescent girls and children under five years of age, President Tinubu’s vision has propelled us towards a future where every Nigerian has access to the nourishment they need to thrive,” he said.

He pointed to initiatives like the ANRiN programme as vital efforts to scale up nutrition interventions nationwide.

Shettima, however, stressed that the government cannot succeed alone, saying: “We depend on the support and guidance of those who wield influence within our communities to drive this change.”

He urged faith and traditional leaders to champion proper nutrition practices in their spheres, integrating nutrition education into places of worship and cultural gatherings.

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