Population management critical to sustainable devt. – Director

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The Director, Population Management Department at the National Population Commission (NPC) Margaret Edison, has stressed the need for population management, saying “this is the key to attaining sustainable development by 2030 in Nigeria.”

Edison stated this Monday in Abuja at the official unveiling of the 2022 annual lecture series of Sustainable Welfare Solutions Initiative (SWSI), stressing that welfare solutions is a spring board or network to establish sustainable livelihoods across the different vulnerable population groups in Nigeria.

She said that ensuring Sustainable Welfare Solutions, must proceed from having apt knowledge of the population size, composition, prevailing and prospective age-structure, etc especially as Nigeria has a huge population and a rapid growing population driven by high total fertility rate, currently at 5.3, averagely with the age-structure largely of young people that represents over 2/3 of the total population.

She said no better time than now that the President just launched the Revised National Policy (NPP) on Population for Sustainable Development (NPP).to carry out census exercise, saying NPP is encompassing, with details on best options to achieving rapid fertility decline to pave way for moderate population growth that will improve quality of life and standards of living for all the people of Nigeria.

”The NPP emphasizes quality over quantity, to see Nigeria transit demographically from
high birth rates to low birth rates with improved maternal and child health and empowerment of women.

”Over 70 percent of the population are under the age of 30 years as defined by the Revised National Youth Policy (2019-2023).Females constitute almost half of the total population, while almost 50
percent of the female population are in their reproductive ages (15-49
years) – these are the drivers of fertility growth.

”In addition, our current modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (mCPR), is among the
lowest in the world, at 12 percent. Teenage childbearing is among the highest in the world (19 percent); Meaning that embracement of family planning and birth spacing remains a challenge”, she stated.

”When existing resources are less than the prevailing population
growth and cannot align with the needs of the age-structure of the
population, there is an urgent need to devise solutions that could
facilitate managing the population growth in the immediate to curtail
population explosion and compromised quality of life.

”Decline in fertility levels that leads to slower population growth, will result in an
increased concentration of the population in the productive age range, which can enable countries to reap a demographic bonus and spur economic development – if both the necessary and sufficient conditions are met,” she stressed.

In his welcome address, the Board of Trustee (BoT) Chairman Engr. Benedict Ukpong, said there is the need for a more data-driven society where efforts are directed at root causes of development issues, saying that there are many avenues to provide interventions for the multifaceted issues that bedeviling the country today.

He maintained that the Sustainable welfare Solutions Initiative aims broadly to
improve the quality of life of Nigerians by executing and supporting well thought out
and targeted population management solutions such as Population and Development; Health and Family Life; Water and Sanitation; as well as Education and Environment.

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