The National Population Commission (NPC) says with the current and anticipated population growth, Nigeria stands to gain if significant and targeted investments are made in providing quality education that responds to the dynamics of the global labour market.
The NPC Chairman, Isa Kwarra disclosed this in his remarks at the launch of the 2023 UNFPA State of the World Population (SWOP) Report in Abuja.
Kwarra admonished the Nigerian government to make much more investments to provide adequate and affordable health care including family planning, strengthen public health systems at the community level; create decent jobs/employment and entrepreneurship for youth; promote women’s empowerment and guarantee safety and security.
“When we achieve these, then economic growth will be accelerated, opportunities for harnessing the demographic dividend will open, our population will be well managed; then Nigeria will achieve enduring peace and progress.”
While speaking further, Kwarra noted that by connecting with the new administration, the National Population Commission (NPC), intends to further the conversation to bring to the fore, the importance of ‘Putting People at the Centre of Development’ fundamentally to achieve Good Governance through the platform of Population Management and the implementation of the National Population Policy (NPP).
On the State of the World Population (SWOP) Report, Kwarra explained that it is the annual flagship achievement of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
“It usually comes with a theme that spotlights prevailing or emerging population and development concerns with a focus on unique population groups women, young people, adolescents and girls.
“This year’s theme reminds us of the global achievement recorded on November 15th 2022, when the world became 8 billion strong.
“Thereafter, it became a global comity responsibility to take advantage of the number to advance development by investing in health, wellbeing, education and the safeguarding of the lives of these individuals and to improve the communities where they reside.”
Meanwhile, the Country Representative of the UNFPA, Ms Ulla Muller called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to set a date for the conduct of the census as he explained that every country requires its own unique solutions, on the basis of an evidence-based approach that uses population data to plan ahead
Muller added that census will offer an unwavering commitment to human rights and the fertility aspirations of all people.
“Assured access to sexual and reproductive health and rights; empowerment of young people; established family policies that help build, strong, diverse and resilient families, and a relentless pursuit of gender equality, recognition that inclusive societies are resilient societies and inclusion of migrants.”
Muller also said the 2023 edition of the SWOP Report entitled ‘8 Billion Lives, Infinite Possibilities – The Case for Rights and Choices’ aims to reshape the conventional understanding of population figures and calls on policymakers and the media to abandon sensationalized narratives about population booms and busts.
According to Muller, reaching 8 billion is a sign of human progress as he added that the world is healthier and live longer yet alarmist rhetoric is circulating, and governments are increasingly seeking to influence fertility rates.
“In a world where 44% of partnered women are unable to exercise bodily autonomy, we cannot afford any actions or rhetoric that will further diminish rights and choices,” she added.
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