The Lagos state government has approved nutrition budget lines across ten key line Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state’s 2020 budget. Some of the MDAs are; Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs.

Others are, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Ministry of Environment, Lagos State Primary Health Care Board (PHCB) and Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board. The approval followed a recent directive from the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget (MEPB) Lagos state, Mrs. Abiola Laidi to nutrition line Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state to create line budgets for nutrition in their various MDAs.

Prior to this approval, the Lagos state government had recorded zero budgetary allocation for nutrition during some of her State Committee on Food and Nutrition (SCFN) meetings. At those meetings, the SCFN assessed the state’s performance on the extent to which the implementation of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions or strategies are in line with the National Multisectoral Plan of Action for Nutrition (NMSPAN) using an appraisal tool. The appraisal tool was developed with support from the Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) and owned by the Federal Government. It is designed to help the National and State Committees on Food and Nutrition (N/SCFN) identify, assess and apply data generated during their meetings for better decision-making that will ultimately translate to improving nutrition outcomes at the National and State levels.

CS-SUNN team led by Executive Secretary, Beatrice Eluaka in a visit recently to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget Lagos State, Mrs. Abiola Laidi commended the Lagos State government for approving nutrition budget lines across all the relevant line ministries. According to Eluaka “Lagos State now has budget lines in all the nutrition line ministries. It is not just enough to have the budget line. There is the need for the budget lines to have cash backing and to ensure timely releases to facilitate the full implementation of the State Multi-sectoral Plan of Action for Nutrition”. Eluaka further called for improved and greater collaborations among the nutrition line ministries and also for the approval of the State Multi-sectoral Plan of Action for Nutrition currently before the State Executive Council.

In a response, the Permanent Secretary MEPB, Mrs. Laidi welcomed CS-SUNN team and commended the alliance’s support towards improving nutrition outcomes for Lagos state. On the recent approval of nutrition budget lines across key line ministries, Mrs. Laidi said “It is not just enough to have nutrition budget lines in these ministries. Execution and implementation of what is in the budget is what is important”.

Earlier, the State Nutrition Officer, Mrs Braheem Olubunmi while making a remark said “we have been partners with CS-SUNN since 2018. They have helped the committee to do a lot, especially domestication of our nutrition policy, training of members to know their roles and responsibilities. They drove in us the zeal to create budget lines in all ministries”.

It is expected that the funds allotted to nutrition in the various line ministries are released promptly for the implementation of nutrition interventions targeted at improving nutrition outcomes for Lagos residents especially women, children and vulnerable group.

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