Investment in Malnutrition Will Get Nigeria Out of Poverty – Expert … UNICEF Reaches 1, 239, 802 with Vitamin A in 2 North East States

By Alex Uangbaoje, Yola

An expert on nutrition, Dr. Bamidele Omotola, has revealed that investing in children’s nutrition offers some of the greatest opportunities for social and economic change in Africa.

According to Dr. Omotola, every single dollar invested in reducing stunting among children in Africa, there’s a return on investment of $16 which is capable of bringing Africa and Nigeria in particular out of poverty.

The nutrition Consultant, who stated this in Yola, Adamawa State, on Friday, at a media dialogue on child malnutrition with a theme: “Investing in Child Malnutrition for Future”, added that, about 33 per cent of Nigerians will get out of extreme poverty if the country successfully tackles malnutrition.

“If Nigeria overcomes the menace of malnutrition, 33 per cent of poor people will get out of extreme poverty and give their own children a better chance at life.” Dr. Omotola added.

A report by Brookings Institution had recently said Nigeria has become poverty headquartersb in the world, ahead of India.

He said malnourished children have zero potential to contribute to any country’s economy, adding that, fight against malnutrition has become imperative for Nigeria because any economy where 50 per cent of the children are stunted or wasted is doomed.

The nutrition expert, warned that children with severe form of acute malnutrition has nine fold risk of death compare to well nourished children. He said one in five children with severe acute malnutrition cases would die if treatment is not provided at right time.

He therefore called for investment to ensure food security to end extreme hunger by 2030, the second goal of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The media dialogue was organized by Child Rights Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) supported by the Department for International Development (DFID).

In his presentation, Dr. Martins Jackson, Nutrition Officer, UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, said, UNICEF, has reached, 1, 239, 802 children of age 5-59 months with vitamin A supplement, through the Integrated Basic Nutrition Response to the Humanitarian Crisis in Borno and Yobe including multsectorial pilot (INP+) projects supported by DFID since July 2017 til date.

“195, 000 pregnant women with Iron/Folate supplement, 38,700 children with acute malnutrition admitted for treatment. While 32,300 pregnant women received N5000 monthly and 6,500 community members were reached with Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), activities in pilot LGAs of; Maiduguri Municipal Council, Jere, Konduga, Bayo, Biu, Kwaya Kasu, Shani, Askira Uba and Hawul in Borno state.

“And also Tarmua, Gujba and Nangere in Yobe State respectively.

“DFID contribution, also procured a bit more than 200,000 carton of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) enough to covers 240,000 children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).” Added.

Child Rights Expert Calls for Concerted Effort in Fight Against Malnutrition

Child Rights Expert Calls for Concerted Effort in Fight Against Malnutrition

By Alex Uangbaoje, Yola


A child rights expert at the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture (FMIC), has call for a concerted effort in fight against malnutrition in Nigeria, especially in the North Eastern part of Nigeria.

Mr. Olumide Osanyinpeju, Deputy Director/Head, Child Rights Information Bureau of FMIC, who made call in Yola Adamawa State on Friday, at Media Dialogue on Child Malnutrition, with theme: “Investing in child malnutrition for the future”, noted that there is need for investing in child malnutrition for the future, raising awareness and understanding on the problem of malnutrition in Nigeria and resource allocation for food and nutrition security at all levels.

According to him, “it is imperative to combat Malnutrition, because it can cause death in young children, particularly those under five years of age. There should be concerted effort to fight malnutrition out in totality to ensure the attainment of desired results.

“Malnutrition is a large burden to a country, and tackling malnutrition entails empowering and educating people. Improved nutrition is the key to improved national and human development and this can be done by educating the populace and creating a positive approach towards nutrition.

“Addressing nutrition is one of the ways through which sustainable development goals can be achieved, therefore investment in nutrition will help reduce the negative trend of malnutrition which has been ensured by the creation of this dialogue.”

Mr. Osanyinpeju, however, commend UNICEF for their unyielding partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria, and for their contributions towards all activities being carried out to uphold the rights of the Nigerian children.

“I wish to specifically note the constant support of the Media and External Relations Section, and the consistent efforts at ensuring that the wellbeing of our children is promoted through the various interventions of the Section, one of which is continuous dialogues with members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm.

“I also wish to appreciate the collaboration of DFID and our sister Ministry in this stride- the Federal Ministry of Health and other line Partners here present who have worked relentlessly for the progress of this process.

“We highly acknowledge your priceless contributions towards promoting the health of Nigerian mothers and children, and in ensuring that the goals of the health strategies targeted at them are met through constant dialogues.” He said.

He charged Journalists to come together in leadership to take actions on malnutrition for a better growth and well-nourished Nigeria in the future, adding, “distinguished Media Personalities, we have to define the strategic objectives of improving food security at the national, community and household levels.

“To reduce malnutrition among infants and children, adolescents and women of reproductive age; to significantly reduce micronutrient deficiency disorders, especially among the vulnerable group and to increase the knowledge of nutrition among the populace and nutrition education into formal and informal trainings.

“On Air Personalities are encouraged, in your programmes to raise awareness and understanding of the problem of malnutrition in Nigeria and resource allocation for food and nutrition security at all levels. It is necessary that awareness be created amongst Nigerian populace especially for mothers; both lactating and non-lactating mothers to give within the first six (6) months of birth the breast milk which is enough for the infant, as nutrition is the key to national development.

“Adequate attention should be given to the nutrition of women especially pregnant women to reduce severe and acute malnutrition. Let us share the vision to see that every citizen has food that is nutrition secured by mobilizing people at grass root level to know their rights with regards to food by involving policy makers. Work with the government and see how to tackle the issue of stunting, wasting and obesity to its minimal level.”

Explaining the essence of the meeting, Sam Kali, UNICEF Communication Specialist, said, the idea is to sensitise journalists on the current situation of child malnutrition in the northeast and what UNICEF, donors, partners and
government are doing to change the situation.

“It is also met to solicit media support and buy-in for the fight against child
malnutrition in the northeast and define roles On-Air-Personalities (AOPs) could perform to help. To equip announcers, presenters, AOPs with key messages on nutrition.

“Commitment elicited from OAPs/participants on use of key messages on child malnutrition in their daily presentations OAPs-announcers, presenters, equipped with key messages on child nutrition. Strategic partnership forged with on air personalities on the fight against child malnutrition in the northeast.” He added.

The 2-days dialogue with journalists, organized by UNICEF, is discussing the management of severe acute Malnutrition in the North East, of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno and the intervention by DFID.

Stakeholders Evaluate Environmental Guidelines for Petroleum Sector

Since its issuance in 1991 by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Environmental Guidelines and Standards for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria (EGASPIN) has remained an imperative document in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

EGASPIN outlines environmental and safety standards that must be complied with by oil operators in the country to prevent, minimise and control pollution from the various aspects of petroleum operations. In line with the DPR’s resolve periodically update the publication “as new knowledge becomes available”, EGASPIN was revised and updated in 2002.

Sixteen years later in 2018, the Institute for Oil, Gas, Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development (OGEES Institute) of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti in Ekiti State, appears to have revisited the much-vaunted document, in an apparent bid to determine its alignment with international best practices.

OGEES Institute, which has been undertaking a comprehensive review of the regulatory framework for environmental protection in the Nigerian oil and gas sector, embarked on a study in this regard. The findings by the institute’s research team on the project were the subject of discussion by a gathering of stakeholders at a validation workshop that held in Abuja on Thursday, November 29, 2018.

“Given the significance of EGASPIN to enhancing environmental sustainability and good governance in the Nigerian oil sector, it is pertinent to review and assess various aspects of the document in the light of the current knowledge and advancements in international best practices, laws, governance methodologies and pollution control technologies,” said Prof. Damilola Olawuyi, Director, OGEES Institute.

He listed the objectives of the study to include:

  • Reviewing and evaluating EGASPIN to determine its alignment with international best practice on environmental protection, especially during approval, operations and decommissioning phases of the oil and gas sector value chain;
  • Identifying existing gaps; and,
  • Providing recommendations and improvements that would increase its effectiveness.

Authored by Prof. Olawuyi and Dr Zibima Tubodenyefa (of the Niger Delta University), the study, among others, compared EGASPIN with the environmental regulation and processes in the comparator countries with respect to stringency, transparency and compliance.

International best practice on stringency, transparency and compliance, it was gathered, were drawn looking at three stages in the life cycle of an oil and gas project: approval of the project, construction and operations, and closure or decommissioning.

“This report and its recommendations aim to help stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, especially the DPR, to improve EGASPIN’s contribution to achieving efficient, safe, orderly and environmentally responsible development of Nigeria’s oil and gas resources,” stated Dr. Tubodenyefa.