By Oboh Linus
The Nasarawa Government is to establish nutrition departments in the line ministries to enhance coordination and evaluation of nutrition programmes and projects in the state.
Ms Abigail Waya, Nasarawa state Acting Head of Civil Service, made this known during an advocacy meeting on creation of departments in line ministries and agencies in Lafia.
”The state government is fully committed to this project and will do everything possible to set up departments as requested.
”We will work with the Civil Service Commission towards realisation of the project as well as in ensuring the right people are placed in these departments for effective service delivery.
“On creation of a budget line and increase in allocation, let’s have the departments first and all other things will fall into place,” she said.
On issue of six months maternity leave, the acting head of civil service promised that once the national council on establishment increases the number of months, the state would implement immediately.
Speaking earlier, Dr Goodness – Chidi Anyanwu, Programme manager of the Civil Society-Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) said she was in the state to advocate for the creation of nutrition department and to seek approval of six months maternity leave for women.
She said CS-SUNN also sought for creation of budget line for nutrition activities in the National Multisectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition, increase allocation, timely releases and effective utilisation of fund for nutrition.
The programme manager, said statistics has shown no improvement because of lack of specific dedicated funding for nutrition, inability to track nutrition funding
She listed other impediments to include less prioritisation to nutrition issue, lack of nutrition department to ensure more visibility for nutrition, budget tracking and low staffing for nutrition.
“Repositioning nutrition is central to development, the impact of nutritional challenges is a factor that cuts across all aspect of life and existence and could affect good health and good life.
“For these reasons, the Federal Government through the National Committtee on Nutrition (NCN) has approved the creation of nutrition department in line MDAs at the National and State Levels on May 11, 2022, ” she said.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance in the state, Mr Emmanuel Alidzi who is also the chairman of State Committee on Food and Nutrition, said the state government through the ministry is partnering with CS-SUNN to raise awareness on nutritional values.