An NGO, Development Communications Network (DevComs), says effective people-oriented programmes can curb population explosion in Nigeria.
Mr Akin Jimoh, Director, DevComs Programme, made the assertion on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 in Lagos in commemoration of the World Population Day marked annually on July 11.
The 2019 theme is: “25 Years of ICPD: Accelerating the Promise.”
Jimoh said there was need to support the National Population Commission (NPoPC) to reflect on the best ways to solve the issue of population explosion in the country.
“Government needs to place population management in 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 prioritised and invested in, as it will help government to save money that can be invested in other developmental programmes like education, health, jobs creation, among others,’’ he said.
Jimoh said that Nigeria’s rising population remains a threat to the country’s economic and social development, 25 years after the historic International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).
“The little resources apportioned for a certain number of people is being stretched to more people because of the large population, thereby stagnating future development and advancement of the country.
“Nigeria among the countries that adopted ICPD, had her population as 105.4 million people in 1994 and 25 years after (2019), the country’s population has more than doubled with over 200 million people, equivalent to 2.6 per cent of the total world population.
“Nigeria remains a leading cause of population explosion, ranking as the seventh most populous in the world and first in Africa,’’ he said in a statement.
Also, Miss Fausiat Balogun, DevComs Communications Programme Officer, urged the government to fulfill the youth declaration drafted by young people themselves.
Balogun said that Federal Government should take urgent action to create three million jobs each year for young people, tackle corruption, healthcare, education, gender discrimination and agriculture.
“It should also put in place investments and policies that will 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 ICPD 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,’’ the programme officer said.
According to her, maternal mortality ratio remains unacceptably high.
“Modern contraceptive rate remains unacceptably low, and 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,’’ Balogun said.
By Esenvosa Izah