1. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to be here today at the launch of this very important indicator - the Cost of a Healthy Diet. I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for taking out time to be here with us today at this epoch-making event. Your presence here is a testament to your commitment to the development and advancement of our nation. I would like each of you here to view this gathering not as a mere ceremony, but as culmination of several activities, which have led to this crucial moment in our nation's history.



  1. As the National Statistics Office, our primary responsibility is to generate data to guide government policies and programs, facilitating evidence-based decision-making at all levels. We approach this duty with the utmost seriousness, recognizing the crucial role data plays in the process of development.

In line with this commitment, the unveiling of the indicator today is a substantial fulfilment of our mandate. The significance of this launch is particularly pronounced in its contribution to food security and the decision-making processes related to food systems. This event underscores our dedication to providing information that not only guides strategic actions but also directly influences critical aspects of our nation's development, reinforcing the indispensable role that accurate and timely data plays in shaping a prosperous and sustainable future.



  1. Global food insecurity remains a pressing issue, affecting millions of people worldwide. This multifaceted issue stems from a combination of factors, including poverty, conflict, climate change, and inadequate infrastructure. The consequences of food insecurity are far-reaching, leading to malnutrition, stunted growth, and heightened vulnerability to diseases, including conflict. Subsistence farmers, marginalized communities, and regions prone to natural disasters are particularly at risk. Efforts to address global food insecurity therefore require a comprehensive approach and collaboration among governments, private sector operators, and development partners, to implement effective strategies that not only respond to immediate hunger, but also foster long-term food resilience and security.


  1. Over the past decade, there has been a growing emphasis on access to healthy diets, as an integral means to achieving food security goals and improving overall nutritional outcomes. While healthy diets are crucial for preventing various forms of malnutrition and reducing the risks of non-communicable diseases, the escalating cost of nutritious foods has emerged as a significant obstacle for individuals and communities globally.




  1. Until now traditionally available food security indicators did not adequately capture economic access to nutritious foods in alignment with the core principles of food security. The introduction of Cost of a Healthy Diet (CoHD) indicators fills this gap by reflecting both physical and economic access to a healthy diet. This indicator provide evidence of economic access to the most economically viable healthy diet within a given country, utilizing locally available foods to meet nutritional requirements. Tracking and monitoring the cost of a healthy diet offers valuable insights for policymakers, researchers, and organizations to discern patterns, assess disparities, and implement targeted interventions that address the root causes of food insecurity. This comprehensive approach contributes to the global fight against hunger and malnutrition by promoting the affordability and availability of nutritious foods.


  1. The availability of an indicator to measure cost and affordability across countries now sets the stage for increased accountability, using timely data on availability and price of retail food items in all countries of the world. The cost of a healthy diet indicator can guide policy and programmes to help make healthy diets affordable for all people at all times, and track progress towards that goal at global, national, and sub-national levels. CoHD indicators show where and when healthy diets are unaffordable, and for how many people, as well as the components of the diet which are least affordable and therefore merit policy and programmatic action.




  1. For us as a statistical system, this indicator will be a very useful tool, given Nigeria’s commitment to tackling food insecurity as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, particularly Goal 2, which seeks to End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. Furthermore, the production of this indicator is in tandem with the present government's 8-Point Agenda. One of the pillars of the 8-Point Agenda, Boost Agriculture to Achieve Food Security, has as part of its objectives:
  • Expanding nutrition-sensitive and nutrition-specific interventions.
  • Improving access to basic nutrition services to vulnerable communities.


Information from this exercise will provide a useful basis for the government to track its efforts and programmes towards attaining this aspect of its 8-Point Agenda.



  1. Now, let me provide brief insights into the results we have so far, for this indicator.
    1. In October 2023, the National average Cost of a Healthy Diet (CoHD) was ₦703, with the South-East having the highest average CoHD at ₦918 per adult per day, and the North-East having the lowest CoHD at ₦605 per adult per day.
    2. In November 2023, the National average Cost of a Healthy diet, was ₦742. The average CoHD in November 2023 was highest in the South-East at ₦920 per adult per day, and lowest in the North-East at ₦616 per adult per day.
    3. In December 2023, the National average Cost of a Healthy Diet, was ₦786. The average CoHD in December 2023 was highest in the South-West at ₦979 per adult per day and lowest in the North-West at ₦663 per adult per day.
    4. At State level, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo States recorded the highest CoHD, with ₦1,052, ₦1,017 and ₦986 respectively, in December 2023, while Katsina, Niger and Adamawa recorded the total lowest CoHD at ₦594, ₦635 and ₦654 respectively.


  1. In recent months, the CoHD has risen faster than general inflation and food inflation. However, it is important to note that the CoHD and food CPI are not directly comparable because the CoHD includes fewer items and is measured in Naira per day, while the food CPI is a weighted index. These are just brief highlights of the reports for the months released so far. Full reports for October, November and December will be available on the NBS website.


  1. The unveiling of this indicator today does not only mark a significant milestone in addressing the global focus on healthy diets as a critical aspect of food security but is also a landmark for the statistical system in Nigeria, as it further shows our commitment towards producing data that is relevant to the needs and aspirations of our users. We will, as a matter of obligation towards the fulfilment of our mandate, continue to work with any interested partner, both within and outside of government, to produce and disseminate statistical information that give insights into our socioeconomic life, so as to enable and promote informed decision making for the growth and development of our country.



  1. As I conclude, I would like to use this opportunity to thank the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, who are our main collaborators on this project for their invaluable support throughout this process. I would also like to express my sincere gratitude also to the Food Prices for Nutrition project based at Tufts University, USA for their technical support. Here at the National Bureau of Statistics, our watch word is COLLABORATION, and we stand ever ready to collaborate and partner with any institution or individual who shares our vision of providing timely, reliable, and accurate data for National Progress.


  1. To our friends in the media, we value your continued support and efforts in ensuring that our message gets to the public and all our users. Your role as conduits of information is invaluable, and we recognise the significant impact you have in shaping public awareness.



  1. We want to express our commitment to transparency and open communication by emphasising that our doors are always wide open. Should you require any additional information, clarifications, or explanations regarding this indicator or any of our releases, our team is readily available to assist and provide further clarifications. Your role as mediators between the NBS and the public is pivotal, and we appreciate the opportunity to collaborate closely with you in disseminating accurate and comprehensive information.


  1. Thank you all for your kind attention.