JayFm Commentary: Examining the Recently Marked World Health Population Day and It’s Implications for Nigeria
Written by Joey Shekwonuzhibo on July 13, 2022
Today’s news Commentary examines the recently marked World Population Day and its implications for Nigeria. Doris Izang of our News and Current Affairs Department
The recent World Population Day which is marked globally every year on July 11 may have come and gone but its implications with regard to Nigeria’s situation have continued to raise particular concerns among the citizens.
The theme for this year’s celebration is tagged:”World of 8 billion: Towards a resilient future for all – Harnessing opportunities and ensuring rights and choices for all”
With the obvious fast-growing rate of the global population which currently stands at 8 billion and Nigeria’s population, estimated to be over 216 million, the call for concerted action on the part of the government seems to have intensified as the world marked the population day
In Nigeria, population explosion has long been identified as a major impediment to the country’s economic growth and inability to provide basic amenities that will make lives better for citizens.
It has also partly been blamed for the country’s grim health indices, including high maternal and child deaths and HIV/AIDS prevalence.
As part of measures to address the country’s high fertility rate, President Muhammadu Buhari, in February 2022, launched the ‘Revised National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development.
The new plan is expected to provide ways of expanding access to modern family planning, counseling, and commodities as well as promoting birth spacing across the country in a bid to curb the alarming rate of population growth.
One month later, in March 2022 the Federal Government also Launched the Family Planning, FP2030 Commitments, which states that by the end of 2030, Nigeria envisioned a country where everyone would be able to make informed choices, have equitable and affordable access to quality family planning and participate as equals in society’s development.
Regrettably, experts and stakeholders have, however, expressed worries that apart from the launch of the documents, there had been no tangible efforts by the Federal Government to ensure the FP 2030 was achieved to put the country’s population under check.
As pointed out by the Coordinator of The Africa Health Budget Network, Dr. Aminu Magashi, in a statement to mark this year’s World Population Day, Nigeria’s commitment to allocate one percent of its health budget to family planning both at the Federal and State levels as part of efforts to achieve the FP 2030 require concerted efforts and innovative financing.
Also considered a big challenge is the issue of about 18.5 million children who are out of school in Nigeria, as well as the challenge of the unemployment rate which has steadily increased and is now pegged at 33 percent.
It is important to note that the youthful population of any country can be an asset or burden to the country, depending on how the government tackles the issues around them.
If not properly taken care of and given the needed attention, the youthful population can be a catastrophe, leading to all manner of insecurity challenges, including kidnapping, armed robbery, and many other social vices.
Therefore, Governments at all levels and other critical stakeholders, urgently need to put modalities in place to ensure that the youth in the country are productively engaged, to enable them to contribute to the socio-economic growth of the country.
The Federal Government must also maximize its bulging youthful population, by improving the quality of education and access by the people while implementing business-friendly policies in the country as well. That way, Nigeria’s growing population will be an asset and not a burden to the country and its people