The Nigerian Government has stated that many less privileged citizens were starving.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh spoke yesterday at the re-inauguration of an Inter-Ministerial Agriculture/Nutrition Working Group (IANWG) in Abuja.
He said most people often consume carbohydrates and less of protein, thereby affecting their well-beings, especially under-five children.
Ogbeh lamented that some children under the age of five lacked access to milk, beef, chicken and other basic proteins, which had resulted in stunted growth and other forms of ailments.
The minister stressed that Nigerians must eat rightly and be conscious of what was being consumed to avoid self-poisoning.
Ogbeh said: “Food is the best medicine, but it can also be the worst poison. We have to deal with the issue of self-poisoning. We talk of water poison in our food.
“The use of polythene water package and some foods are lacking in basic nutrients. So, it is important to know what we eat; otherwise, we simply ingest poison.”
Ogbeh stressed the need to urgently address starvation of over 37 per cent of children in the country.
He said the committee would design strategies to promote healthy living, address malnutrition and increase hygienic food production.
“We want our children between the ages of one and five to be properly taken care of at crèches. The best time to develop a child’s brain is the first five years.
“We don’t want to have stunted children. So, we will intensify our cooperation with the ministry of health,” Ogbeh added.