The Dialogue involves the exploration of challenges facing food system within the geopolitical zones and raising quality, purposeful and productive home-grown solutions to them.
At the Southwest exploratory dialogue in Lagos, the Permanent Secretary, Budget and National planning/ National convenor of the Nigeria National Food Summit Systems Dialogue (NNFSD), Mrs Olusola Idowu, said that the outputs of the various Dialogues, particularly, the Exploratory Dialogue, would form a critical component for the conclusion of the Medium –Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) and the Nigeria Agenda 2050, which would ultimately, contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) in Nigeria.
She pointed out that the outcomes from all the Dialogues would be presented at the forthcoming Summit scheduled to hold in New York in September 2021 as part of the Decade of Actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The Permanent Secretary therefore said that each State that would host the Dialogue in the various geo-political zones would be allowed to set up a Secretariat to document resolutions reached with complementary effort of the Federal Government officials.
This, she stated, was the reason Curators and Facilitators were strategically identified and selected within the zones, states and at the federal level, to provide guidance towards having a robust Dialogue at the zones.
She appreciated the commitment of the Government of the host States and other State Governors across the six zones, the Honourable Commissioners of Budget and economic Planning, Hon Commissioners of Agriculture and other Commissioners for successful coordination of the Dialogue while also commending the organising committee and team of experts for working tirelessly to ensure that the Nigeria Dialogue was successful.
“As the National Convenor, I want to assure you that I am open to constructive suggestions and technical advice that can contribute to a successful National Food Systems Dialogues in Nigeria,” Idowu pledged.
Idowu further explained that the NNFSD would eventually enable the government to develop a plan of action to improve nutrition security, reduce hunger and prevalence of malnutrition in line with the national food as well as nutrition policy for Nigeria.
She declared: “It is envisioned to create more inclusive, healthier food systems and encourage a collaborative approach towards building sustainable food systems.”
Also speaking, the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, noted that Government alone could not ensure the sustainability of food system in the nation, stressing that it required the combined efforts of all stakeholders within the food system.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Commissioner of Economic Planning, Lagos State, Mr Samuel Egube, appealed to financial institutions to make loans and grants readily available to farmers and other stakeholders within the system in order to expand and implement those ideas which could make food system more sustainable in the country.
He also implored those in the Information and Technology sector to develop applications and other digital skills that could be beneficial and supportive to food system as the world was evolving and new solutions were being provided digitally.
For effective coordination and synergy, the dialogue for all the zones would run concurrently from Tuesday, 6th April to Friday, 9th April 2021, with a one-day consideration to be given for movement from one state to the other.
Also, for the sake of convenience, States have been grouped for the events as follows:
Southeast Zone- Event location (Enugu and Owerri )
State Grouping – Imo, Enugu, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi.
Southwest Zone- Event location (Lagos and Ibadan)
State grouping – Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Osun,
South- South- Event location- (Asaba and Calabar Ekiti)
North Central- Event location – (Ilorin and Lafia)
Northwest- Event location- Sokoto and Kano
Northeast- Event location (Gombe and Bauchi)