Nigeria adjusts population policy to achieve rapid fertility control

African population
Policies must be put in place to cater for fast growing population

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday launched an adjusted population policy for the most populous African nation, with a view to addressing its high fertility rate.

Buhari, while launching the Revised National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development, said the high fertility rate in the country called for urgent measures through expanding access to modern contraceptive methods, counseling, and commodities, as well as promoting births spacing.

The Nigerian leader said the overall goal of the revised population policy was “to improve the quality of life and standards of living of all Nigerians, which is one of the major aspirations of [this] government.”

Aside from enabling the country to achieve rapid fertility control, the adjusted policy will also help to improve the health of women, adolescents, newborns, and other population groups, he explained.

Buhari noted that Nigeria’s population, which is the largest in Africa, seventh globally and among the few whose fertility is still growing, is hinged on a youthful population, with more than 72 percent of them being below 30 years while half of the female population are in their reproductive years of 15 to 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,” he said.

On other highlights of the revised population policy, the Nigerian leader explained that it underscored the importance of investing in the quality education of young people, particularly girls, human capital development, advancing the holistic effort to achieve a significant demographic transition.

“The implementation of the policy would require credible, reliable, timely, robust, geo-referenced, and well-disaggregated data,” Buhari added, expressing the confidence that the data generated from the country’s forthcoming census will provide all the information needed for the successful implementation of the adjusted policy. Enditem

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