Nigeria needs to tackle high fertility rate—Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday underscored the need for urgent measures to address Nigeria’s high fertility rate by expanding access to modern contraceptive methods across the country.

He spoke in Abuja where he launched the Revised National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development.

He also inaugurated the National Council on Population Management (NCPM) chaired by him and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as deputy chairman with heads of relevant MDAs as members.

Buhari said the revised population policy was aimed at improving the quality of life and standards of living of all Nigerians.

“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, new born and children, and other population groups,” he said.

He said Nigeria’s population, the largest in Africa, seventh globally and among the few whose fertility is still growing, was 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 (15-49 years).

“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.

Buhari, while noting that the implementation of the policy would require credible, reliable, timely, robust, geo-referenced and well disaggregated data, expressed confidence that the data generated from the forthcoming census would provide all the information needed for the successful implementation of the new policy.

Chairman, National Population Commission, Nasir Isa Kwarra, urged Nigerians to embrace the noble ideals of planned parenthood and healthy reproductive behaviours enunciated in the policy.

In his goodwill message, the UN Resident Coordinator, Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, said the world and UN looked forward to a Nigeria with low maternal mortality; low teenage pregnancy and childbirth; reduced fertility rate, increased utilisation of modern contraceptive methods and high education attainment, among others.

He said the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), responsible for providing support for the generation of quality data, would continue to work with the NPC to help ensure that Nigeria’s forthcoming census meets local and international standards and acceptability.

Source link