Buhari launches revised national policy on population, to address high fertility rate

President Muhammadu Buhari has launched the Revised National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development, urging for measures to combat Nigeria’s high fertility rate through expanding access to modern contraceptive methods across the country.

This is according to a press release issued by the Presidency on Thursday evening in Abuja.

The President also inaugurated the National Council on Population Management (NCPM), chaired by him, and the Vice President as the deputy chairman with Heads of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as members.

What President Buhari is saying about the policy

Speaking on the country’s revised population policy, the President said its overall goal is to improve the quality of life and standards of living of all Nigerians, which is one of the major aspirations of this Government.

He said, “The policy emphasizes the urgency to address Nigeria’s sustained high fertility rate, through expanding access to modern family planning, counselling and commodities as well as promote births spacing.

“This will enable Nigeria to achieve rapid fertility control, improve the health of women, adolescents, newborn and children, and other population groups.” 

He warned that Nigeria, despite having Africa’s highest population, is still growing including cases of high fertility, and a youthful population with over 72% of Nigerians below the age of 30 and half the female population are in their reproductive years (15-49).

“These levels have implications for sustained population growth and narrowed prospects to achieving population management, facilitating sufficient demographic transition, harnessing our demographic endowment and eventually realizing sustainable development.

“The Revised Population Policy is rich with all necessary information that will guide the implementation of Nigeria’s Mid-term and Perspective Development Plan,” President Buhari said.

The UN Resident Coordinator, Nigeria, Mathias Schmale said the Policy brings to the forefront the linkages between population and development and will inform work and services to improve the well-being and lives of Nigerians.

He added that the successful implementation of the National Policy will very likely have positive implications for maternal health development, youth and adolescent rights and the empowerment of women and the girl child.

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