Lawmakers Commit to Prioritizing Nutrition for Human Capital Development

Legislators from 13 Nigerian states recently convened in Lagos for a two-day summit aimed at addressing malnutrition and enhancing human capital development through improved nutrition strategies.

Themed “Prioritizing Nutrition – A Pathway to Human Capital Development,” the summit, organized by Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), underscored the critical role of adequate nutrition in fostering a healthy population. Participants highlighted nutrition’s profound impact on education, productivity, and overall economic growth.

Key outcomes of the summit included a communiqué signed by 14 participants, which emphasized the link between malnutrition and health challenges, reduced productivity, and impaired cognitive development. Lawmakers reviewed existing nutrition policies in their respective states, identifying gaps and proposing solutions. They stressed the necessity of robust legislative frameworks to support and enforce these policies, drawing inspiration from successful legislative actions elsewhere.

Financial commitments were also central to the discussions, with legislators advocating for a 4 percent increase in budget allocations to nutrition-sensitive ministries and a 10 percent increase for those directly addressing nutrition. They pledged to ensure timely disbursement of funds and to integrate nutrition interventions into constituency projects.

Collaboration across sectors such as health, agriculture, education, and social protection was deemed essential, with a focus on community engagement and awareness. Strategies included leveraging traditional and social media for disseminating nutrition information and proposing initiatives like home and school gardens.

The summit culminated in resolutions aimed at strengthening existing policies, developing state-specific nutrition action plans, and establishing dedicated legislative committees on food and nutrition. Legislators committed to regular oversight to ensure effective implementation and pledged to foster partnerships with government, civil society, the private sector, and international organizations to enhance nutrition initiatives.

Continued monitoring and collaborative efforts were highlighted as critical for achieving lasting improvements in nutrition outcomes and promoting the health and well-being of communities across the 13 focal states. The resolutions adopted serve as a roadmap for advancing nutrition as a key driver of human capital development in Nigeria.


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