The Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Samuel Egube, has called on residents to embrace, participate and engage themselves with the policies and programmes of the government because they were designed for their benefits.
Speaking at the launch of the State’s policy on food, nutrition and its multi-sectoral strategic plan held recently in Ikeja, Egube described the policy as a major landmark in the efforts of the state government to achieve objectives of the second pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, which is Health and Environment.
He explained that the goal of the laudable food and nutrition project is to attain optimal nutritional status for all Lagosians, with particular emphasis on the most vulnerable groups such as young children, pregnant mothers, lactating women, adolescents, physically challenged people, the elderly and the aged.
Egube said: “The policy on food and nutrition is germane to achieving the State government’s set objectives because nutrition is a fundamental human right that all citizens are entitled to. It is not just about eating what is available but eating good quality foods with adequate nutrients, which are also readily available”.
He warned residents to be watchful of the kind of foods they consume, stressing that most people take adequate nutrition for granted.
“Nutrition has been established and ascertained as the bedrock of good health, hence, it is majorly a public health concern. Other militating factors to achieving the desired results must be controlled and addressed in conjunction with other nutrition-related sectors to ensure good nutritional status for all citizens”, he asserted.
Commending the State government on the initiative to establish a Committee on Food and Nutrition, Egube lamented that there is enough food for everybody on earth, yet, malnutrition is still very common and associated with millions of deaths globally every year.
According to him: “The rationale behind the implementation of the interventions is to encourage all citizens to practice adequate nutrition throughout the different stages of life. Adequate food and nutrition for all are globally accepted and prioritised as a developmental agenda that yields high socio-economic returns when embraced. It has both direct and indirect link to all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
“The importance of this Policy on food and nutrition is to holistically address the problems of malnutrition and extreme hunger across different levels in Lagos State. The Policy and its Multi-Sectoral plan of action will strengthen synergy among sectors, in both public and private, to collaborate and involve in the implementation of activities to eradicate malnutrition in the State”, he added.
The Commissioner reiterated that the fight against malnutrition in the State can only be won with collective efforts by ensuring that all citizens, households and communities are food and nutrition secured, imploring everyone concerned to work together to achieve all the pillars of the T.H.E.M.E.S Development Agenda.