Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo on Wednesday inaugurated the state’s Food and Nutrition Committee to ensure a sustainable roadmap towards identifying and encouraging the consumption of healthy food in the state.
Speaking before inauguration at Government House in Benin, the governor said: “we are concerned about the health status and nutrition of our people, particularly the very young ones and the old people’’.
“Eating nutritious food goes a long way in maintaining a healthy lifestyle that is why this committee is important.
“We are aware that there is a connection between nutrition, preventive medicine, girl-child education, women empowerment and childhood development,’’ Obaseki said.
He directed the committee to identify the problems of nutrition in the state, coordinate efforts in improving nutrition and to ensure adequate resource allocation to address malnutrition issues.
“The committee has the mandate to identify efforts already put in place by various institutions to tackle malnutrition in the state and to review the strategies to tackle it and their impact on the society.’’
The governor called for working synergy among the various stakeholders in the food and nutrition sector to avoid duplication of programmes and allow for optimal use of resources.
In her remarks, the Chairman of the committee, Mrs Vera Obadan, the Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, commended the governor for setting up the committee.
Obadan, who was represented by the Vice-Chairman of the committee, Prof Ignatius Onimawo, the Vice-Chancellor of Ambrose Alli University, said good nutrition is key to human development.
She said that the bedrock of nutrition is breastfeeding, regretting that the breast feeding rate in the country was low.
The chairman assured that the committee would do a lot of information dissemination to educate mothers on the importance of breast feeding in ensuring early childhood development.
Obadan requested that the governor’s wife, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, be made one of the champions of good nutrition in the state.
Our correspondent reports that the members of the committee are drawn from relevant stakeholders in the private and public institutions in the food and nutrition sector.