NCFN PLEDGES STRICT COMPLIANCE TO IMPLEMENTATON OF APPROVED NUTRITION BUDGETS IN NIGERIA
The National Committee on Food and Nutrition (NCFN) has pledged to intensify efforts towards strict implementation of approved budgets allotted to nutrition activities and interventions across the country. The commitment by the NCFN is contained in a communique issued recently at the end of a five-day workshop supported by Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (MFBNP) in Abuja. The workshop was aimed at strengthening nutrition coordination and collaboration mechanisms in Nigeria.
The NCFN identified poor utilization of budgetary releases in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as a challenge to the successful implementation of nutrition activities. “Key policy and decision-makers are not fully sensitized on the importance of budgetary allocation and releases for nutrition activities for national development”, the communique said.
The committee resolved to adopt continuous advocacy and sensitization to MDAs yet to create nutrition budget lines on the importance of budgetary allocation and releases for nutrition activities for national development.
The communique signed by a 7 man-committee chaired by the Deputy Director, Food and Nutrition Division in the MFBNP, Dr. Chito Nelson recommended the establishment of a central Nutrition Information System in Nigeria to address the lack of a functional Nutrition Information System in the country. They further urged government to take ownership of nutrition programmes and reduce over-dependence on foreign donors for funds. The workshop had a total of 25 participants drawn from the key MDAs including Health, Finance, Budget & Planning, Education, Science and Technology, Women Affairs, Agriculture, Water Resources and Information and Culture. Others were participants from Agencies such as National Primary Health Care Development Agency, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, Standard Organisation of Nigeria as well as CS-SUNN.