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Nigeria loses $1.5b of GDP to Malnutrition – FG

The Federal Government is worried that Nigeria is losing $1.5 billion of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) yearly due to lack of essential nutrients in the diet of the citizens.

As a result of this problem, the government is bothered that malnutrition can severely impact the economy by hindering human capital development and reducing productivity.

Also, due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly on the poorest and most vulnerable households, it has become even more difficult to afford sufficient and nutritious food.

To combat malnutrition, the Federal Government has initiated coordinating efforts through the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning to respond swiftly with expected positive outcomes.

The Minister for Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, made this known  at the 53rd Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN) in Abuja.

Bagudu noted that the government is determined to tackle malnutrition through the inclusion of nutrition in the National Development Plan (NDP 2021-2025) as well as “The Nigeria Agenda 2050”.

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According to him, “it is also a commitment to achieving optimal nutrition status for all Nigerians with particular attention to the vulnerable group as highlighted in the National Multi-sectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition (NMPFAN 2021-2025)”.

The minister then urged experts in nutrition in the country to research and come up with innovations that will boost nutrition.

These innovations and research, he said will contribute towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ensure Universal Health Coverage, and bring about significant positive changes in the nutrition sector in Nigeria.

By prioritizing innovation and research, the government wants to find new and improved ways to address nutritional challenges and promote the well-being of the Nigerian population.

He told members of the NSN “to prioritize innovation and research in the field of nutrition towards the attainment of SDGs, Universal Health Coverage and transformation of the landscape of nutrition in Nigeria”.

Bagudu said: “Nigeria currently requires 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.”

He told the leadership of NSN to embrace technology, leverage digital solutions, and invest in research and development to find sustainable and scalable solutions to Nigeria’s nutrition challenges.