By Omolola Pedro
The Federal Government of Nigeria has inaugurated the steering committee on states’ implementation of the food systems transformation pathway, targeted at establishing Nigeria’s efforts at ensuring an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient food system transformation, FarmingFarmersFarms reports. The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, while speaking at the inauguration of the committee, held in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, said, there is no better time to inaugurate the committee than now that the current administration would be transiting to a new one on come May 29, 2023.
“Due diligence was undertaken in the identification of high-level policy implementers and critical thinkers that will drive the implementation of the food system transformation pathway both at national and sub national levels of government in Nigeria. There is no better time to inaugurate this committee than now that the present administration is transiting to a new one on May 29, 2023,” he said. Agba recalled that the journey for transforming the food systems commenced in the year 2020, following calls by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres that countries should take proactive measures to make their food systems more sustainable and resilient.
According to a statement issued by the National Information Officer, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Dr. Oluseyi Soremekun, the 20-man committee would be expected to provide leadership for zonal coordination of the implementation of the Food Systems Transformation Pathways in all the 36 states of the country including the FCT. Additionally, Agba explained that the committee, would lead advocacy visits to state governors and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum in each geopolitical zone and galvanise both political and financial support for implementation by critical and relevant stakeholders in each geopolitical zone, including the private sector and prospective donors in the six zones.
The National Convener of the National Food System Transformation, Dr. Sanjo Faniran implored the permanent secretaries in the six geopolitical zones to share with his office, reports of good practices in preparation for the stock-taking event coming up in Rome in July this year. Faniran, who is also the Director of Social Development, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, added that states and zones were ready for the implementation of the 2023 workplan. Meanwhile, the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba is to chair the committee, while the FAO Country Representative, Mr. Fred Kafeero, the International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD) Country Representative, Ms. Dede Ekoue, and the World Food Programme (WFP) Country Director, Mr. David Stevens are co-chairs.