The National Population Commission (NPC), has raised concerns over high population growth in the county, saying it is not proportional with the country’s economic and educational growth rate.
Acting Chairman of the commission, Yusuf Muhammed who raised the alarm at a press conference to mark this year’s World Population Day, with the theme: ‘25 Years of ICPD: Accelerating the Promise,’ in Abuja.
He said high population rate is a challenge to any country economic, education and political development.
According to him, “The Cairo Plan” discounts population control which emphasized coercive means to instead give support for policies that give women greater control over their lives, promote economic equality and opportunity and give them a greater voice in reproductive decisions.
“The plan recognised that population growth needs a programme that increases the educational, economic and political rights of women,” he said
He noted that maternal mortality Rate is still high, modern contraceptive prevalent rate is still low, unmet needs for family planning remains high and Female Genital Mutilation has not significantly improved.
Also speaking, the Director General of the commission, Dr Ghaji Ismail said, “Based on data available to us, the present population is about 190 million. About three months ago, UNFPA brought out a figure of 201 million. The UN figure is a function of the assumptions they have made.
“You have to use models to arrive at the figures you are projecting. The margin of error is very small. It is more imperative that the government should undertake another census.
“It strengthens our case that we should have undertaken another census, the last one was in 2006 and we should have had another in 2016 in line with the 10-year global requirement,” he said.
In his reaction, the Director, External Relations, Policy and Advocacy Abimbola Bola Kusemiju said, “let the women who bring children into the world have say on any matter that are in line with the reproductive system.
“Women reproductive right, should give women’s a right to decides on the number of children and the need to invest on girls child education. ” he said.
He further said that educating women and men on contraceptives can help control the rapid growth of population considering the slow growth of the economy.
“This year theme is therefore, to celebrate that remarkable proposition and to raise awareness about how choices and opportunities have changed for girls and women reproductive health and rights, gender equality and Child rights across the globe generally and Nigeria in particular”.
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