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Experts urge govt to invest in human capital to reap population benefits

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
22 November 2021   |   3:43 am
There is urgent need for government to invest in human capital of its citizens to reap benefits inherent in rising population of Nigeria.

•SFH advocates increased budgetary allocation for family planning
There is urgent need for government to invest in human capital of its citizens to reap benefits inherent in rising population of Nigeria.

The Managing Director, Society for Family Health (SFH), Omokhudu Idogho, stated this at the national dissemination meeting of the Consumer’s market for family planning (CM4FP) study in Abuja. Idogho said government must harness the nation’s rapid population growth into a demographic benefit. Idogho, who noted that Nigeria as a developing country is dealing with complex problems, added that population, can be a demographic benefit or a demographic challenge depending on how that population is managed.

He said: “Our population is growing quite rapidly and there is a real need to bring a managed process to how the population grows and how the population is served to the point around how large family size should be, investment in social capital, investment in human capital, investment in education of our children because all these translate to demographic dividends.”

Idogho, who equally advocated for increased budgetary allocation for family planning in Nigeria, observed that though increasingly seeing more couples are taking up family planning in the country, in terms of trend, it is still not at the optimal level and a lot still needs to be done to make a difference.

He stated that there are norms and family value system that continue to shape how people interact with family planning and stressed the need to transform those norms so that Nigeria’s large population can become a demographic benefit.

According to him, the dissemination of findings from the Consumer market for family planning in Nigeria was targeted at getting information on what shapes their decisions for family planning including the methods for family planning.

Speaking earlier, Family Planning, and Reproductive Health Practice Lead, SFH, Dr. Anthony Nwala, said the study, which covered four states showed that most Nigerian women prefer to access family planning services from drugstores.

He noted that the research findings further showed that proximity and service quality emerged as top considerations driving consumers’ choice of family planning outlet.