FG lauds UNFPA intervention on population, humanitarian services

The Federal Government on Tuesday commended the intervention of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in the areas reproductive health, family planning, population and development as well as humanitarian services.

Mr Samuel Eloho, the Director, International Co-operation Department, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, said this at the opening of a two-day meeting of the National Task Force Committee, and Partners in Population and Development (PPD) on South-South Cooperation in Abuja.

Eloho said Nigeria would “continue to be appreciative of the support with the belief that UNFPA would not relent in her efforts’’.

“It is with pleasure that I applaud the dedication of the National Task Force Committee.

“The success of this committee is attributable to the commitment of various stakeholders gathered here today.

“I urge us to remain committed in carrying out our oversight functions to ensure that common goals of the PPD are realised for good to our dear nation,’’ he said.

The director said that the essence of the meeting was to discuss the implementation of the UNFPA assisted-programmes in various ministries and organisations.

He said that the meeting would ascertain progress made in the implementation of programmes, challenges encountered and proffer the way forward.

“It is also a forum for the implementing partners, the UNFPA and the ministry that coordinates all donor activities to jointly reflect on the implementation of trajectory achievement.

“It will discuss challenges and suggest ways forward for achieving a robust implementation and value for money.’’

In addition, he said that the meeting would discuss the outcome of the 2016 inter-Ministerial Conference and Board Meeting of PPP including Dakar call for Action that reaffirms the willingness and commitments.

“The meeting will accord highest urgency to post 2014 International Inter-Ministerial Conference and Population and Development (ICPD) engagement and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) achievements.

“It will accord the priority to SDGs through redouble efforts to collectively address the priority population and development challenges in the context of the SDGs.’’

In his remarks, Mr Dasogot Dashe, the UNFPA Programme Analyst on Demography and Statistics, urged the participants to focus on ageing population to reap the demographic dividends.

“If Nigeria can manage its ageing population very well, Nigeria will harness the second demographic dividends and the first is for the youth.

“If you invest in the youth now, they will be empowered to work, train their own children so that they will not be burden to the government in their old age,’’ he said.

Dashe, however, commended the Ministry of Budget and National Planning for coordinating the activities of the Task Force and assured of UNFPA’s support in achieving demographic dividends.

Also speaking, Dr Emem Omokaro, Executive Director, Dave Omokaro Foundation, called for policies and programmes that would include the ageing population.

Omokaro, who made a presentation on “the need for Enhancing Institutional Capacity for Ageing Mainstreaming Development of the Training Curriculum for Ministries Department Agencies (MDA)’’, emphasised on building the MDAs.

She said that MDAs should be trained to formulate programmes and projects that would include the ageing population.

NAN reports that the National Task Force for PPD is the bridge builder in implementing the objectives of South-South Cooperation.

It seeks to implement the objectives of promoting family planning, gender, sexual reproductive health, and population and development to enhance capacity building.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) also reports that the meeting is being attended by more than 49 MDAs and CSOs involved in the PPD.

They include the host ministry of National Planning; Ministries of Education, Health, FCT and Women Affairs, NAN and National Population Commission.

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