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WPD 2019: People-Oriented Programmes can curb population explosion in Nigeria

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World population day

As Nigeria, on Thursday, celebrated the World Population Day 2019, Nigeria needs to strategically implement effective people-oriented programmes to stem the tide of the negative impacts of unbridled population explosion on the country’s resources and stability. 

Development Communications (DevComs) Network made this known when it called on everyone to celebrate this year’s World Population Day with the theme, “25 Years of ICPD: Accelerating the Promise” to make the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) promises a reality for the betterment of all Nigerians.
 
Nigeria’s rising population remains a threat to the country’s economic and social development, 25 years after the historic ICPD. The little resources apportioned for a certain number of people are being stretched to cover more people because of the large population thereby stagnating future development and advancement of the country.

The ICPD was the inaugural meeting held in Cairo in 1994 where 179 governments adopted a revolutionary Programme of Action and called for women’s reproductive health and rights to take centre stage in national and global development efforts. Nigeria, amongst the countries that adopted it, had her population at 105.4million people in 1994 and twenty-five years after (2019) the country’s population has more than doubled with over 200 million people, equivalent to 2.6% of the total world population today. Nigeria remains a leading cause of population explosion ranking as the seventh most populous in the world and first in Africa.

Akin Jimoh, DevComs Programme Director, asserts that “there is a need to support the National Population Commission (NPoPC) to reflect, on the best ways to solve the issue of population explosion in the country, 25 years after the ICPD.  
The government needs to place population management at the front burner of their policy-making and allocation of resources, especially investment in programmes like family planning services.”  Family planning is an essential tool to be prioritized and invested in as it will help the government save money that can be invested in other development programmes like education, health, job creation and so on.

Programme Officer (Communications), DevComs and a ONE Champion, Fausiat Balogun said: “Government needs to fulfil the youth declaration drafted by young people themselves. It demands that government should take action to create three million jobs each year for young people, tackle corruption, healthcare, education, gender discrimination, and agriculture; with investments and policies that unlock the potential of young Nigerians. This will help significantly to harness the demographic dividend and also help avoid a population disaster, especially as young people are currently more than half of the population. If these actions are taken, the issue of mental health instability, drug abuse and other social vices among young people will also be curbed if not totally eradicated.”

“Accelerating the International Conference on Population and Development promise on some issues is paramount as these issues remain unresolved till now. This will mean a renewed promise of ‘Leaving no one behind’ by harnessing demographic dividend and building inclusive and just societies. Maternal Mortality Ratio remains unacceptably high. Modern Contraceptive rate remains unacceptably low, sexual violence is on the increase. We have a long way to go but we need to start by managing our population strategically and critically now,” Balogun said.


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