Nigerian business magnate, Aliko Dangote and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations have expressed commitments to reduce malnutrition in Nigeria.
They made the pledge during the Food Processing and Nutrition Leadership Forum in Lagos where chief executives of leading food processing companies committed to adequate fortification in major food staples by 2020.
Country Director, TechnoServe Nigeria, Mr. Larry Umunna, has said in a statement that the Forum marks the start of a renewed, business-led effort to combat poor nutrition in Nigeria.
Dangote, President of Dangote Group, said: “As corporate leaders, we can change this trend and prepare for our future – using tools already at our fingertips.
“One of the most powerful solutions for malnutrition is within the food processing industry; the fortification of staple foods such as wheat and maize flour, cooking oil, salt, and sugar with essential vitamins and minerals.”
Mr Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “In the nearly 20 years since Melinda and I started our foundation, I’ve become more convinced than ever that the best investment a country can make is in the health and well-being of its people.”
“And often, the best investments are in simple, scalable advancements. Food fortification is one of those advancements.”
William Warshauer, President, TechnoServe, said: “Given TechnoServe’s business approach to development, we are excited to work with the private sector on such a critical effort to boost development for Africa’s largest population and economy.”
Hajia Aisha Abubakar, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, pledged government had committed to improve the regulatory environment around food fortification.