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Speaker Abbas tasks nutrition, food security, legislative response to food insecurity

Speaker Abbas tasks nutrition, food security, legislative response to food insecurity

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Speaker Abbas tasks nutrition, food security, legislative response to food insecurity

The Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas has changed the House Committee on Nutrition and Food Security to provide legislative response to the worsening food insecurity and malnutrition in the country.
Abbas, who was represented by the leader of the House, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, gave the charge at the inauguration of the committee on Thursday in Abuja.

He urged the committee to effectively oversight policies and Programmes of government to successful address the twin issues of nutrition and food security especially as the President had declared a

state of emergency on food insecurity.

He also asked the committee to review existing legislation and suggest new legislative frameworks that affect agricultural production and the food supply chain.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Okafor applauded the House leadership for setting up the specialized Committee which focuses on food security and nutrition.

“This is the first time in the history of the Legislature in Nigeria that the leadership of the House thought it necessary to set up a distinct and exclusive Committee for greater legislative attention to critical interventions in the cross-cutting issues of food and nutrition.

“The creation of this Committee would serve as a swift response to the present economic realities, especially the current unaffordability of basic foods in Nigeria arising from uncontrolled inflation and scarce means,” he said.

The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, whose ministry is a key partner of the committee restated the government’s commitment to put in place measures that will ensure adequate nutrition and food security for Nigerians.

According to him, “Nigeria has done very well and supported by different stakeholders, particularly the government of President Bola Tinubu, have appreciated the nutrition and food security challenges.

“We have the National Food Security Council Chaired by no less a person than the Vice President, Kashim Shettima. We are participants in the United Nations Food System Transformation as well as the institutional alignment through the Ministry of Agriculture being recognised as the Ministry of Agriculture and that of Food Security.

“This is commendable. We recall that in the last administration under former President Muhammadu Buhari, a national security council was created chaired by the President himself and I was privileged to be the Vice Chair of that council.

“What led to it is the recognition that food security is not an agriculture issue, not a health issue, not an environment issue, not a physical security issue. It is all of it. So we need to have stakeholders around the table so we can appreciate, we can do better. The same thing with nutrition.

“The House of Representatives is helping in addressing the challenges. Mr President has recognized these issues and is committed to addressing them.”

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