At least 25 million Nigerians are suffering from hunger, according to Prof Kola Matthew Anigo, National Coordinator of Academic and Research Network for Scaling up nutrition in Nigeria (ARN-SUNN).
He said this in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, while delivering his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 52nd annual general meeting and scientific conference of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria.
Speaking on the theme of the conference, “Bridging the Malnutrition Gap: Nutrition Multi-sectoral Commitments for Sustainable Nutrition in Nigeria,” Anigo lamented prevalence of malnutrition in Nigeria.
He said Nigeria ranked first in Africa and second in the world in the global chart of malnourished children.
Anigo said the insecurity in the country pose a huge threat to Nigeria’s attainment of global nutrition target by 2025.
The expert said banditry, terrorism and kidnapping have contributed to food insecurity, saying Nigeria may not attain self sufficiency in food production if insecurity is not nip in the bud.
He said, “Nigeria ranked number one in Africa and number two in the world in terms of number of children malnourished. 25 million people are hungry while 9.3 million people suffer from acute food insecurity.
“There is need to transform agricultural production and food systems as key drivers of the economic growth we need the right system, right environment and right information in line with the magnitude of nutrition problems both at national and sub-national levels,” he said.
The national President of Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Prof. Wasiu Akinloye Afolabi, in his opening remark, called on the Federal government to intensify efforts aimed at increasing food production.