Amid inadequate funding that has continue to aggregate the problem of malnutrition in the country, the Lagos State government has pledged more commitment for nutrition.
The pledge was made, during a 4-day advocacy visit by the Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) and the State Committees on Food and Nutrition (SCFN), to nutrition line Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) towards increment in funding for all nutrition activities in the state and to secure commitments that will lead to improved funding and ultimately improved nutrition situation in the state.
The MDAs visited includes the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Primary Health Care Development Agency, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Ministry of Youth Development and Sport, Ministry of Local Government and Lagos State Teaching Hospital.
The permanent secretary, Lagos state Ministry of Information and Strategy, Olumide Sogunle said his ministry is relentless in prioritizing nutrition, while assuring that every request on nutrition will be granted. “It won’t be a different case going forward, but rather an improvement,” he stated.
The director, Agriculture and technical support, Lagos state Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, Olajumoke Ola, said Lagos state takes the nutrition of her citizen as very important, adding that the state is doing much in terms of investing in the nutrition.
Speaking on the Local Government Committees on Food and Nutrition (LGCFN), Ola said setting the CFN at the Local Government level is a great move, even as she believes that it will help take nutrition to the grassroot level, thereby contributing to the success in the state.
In the same vein, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Lagos state, Mrs Oluwatoyin Oke-Osanyintolu said based on the report of the appraisal done recently, her ministry is doing great in terms of promoting nutrition in the state. “My ministry is one of the very few that have a 100 per cent release of the nutrition budget in the previous year and also an updated and improved budget for the 2023,” she revealed.
CS-SUNN state coordinator, Mr Samuel Akinyode however commended the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Lagos state, for the good job it is doing especially making sure it has a 100 per cent release of their budget and also having an increase in the 2023 budget, while advocating that there should be no slacking in the current year and beyond. “The ministry should please ensure they continue to mobilize for total release of fund and also share their secret of getting total release with other MDAs as a form of best practices, because Lagos needs to win as a team,” he added.
Akinyode, while commending the eight MDAs, however tasked them to prioritize releases and cash backing of nutrition funding in the 2022 budget as well as seek improvement in funding for nutrition in 2023 budget.
For those yet to get release to fund nutrition programme for 2022, the state coordinator urged them to try to put in more effort and strengthen strategy to get the budget released and implement the stipulated activities in the 2022 Annual Operational Plan (AOP) as well as ensure there is improve performance in the 2023 AOP.