The President, Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has launched the Revised National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development, stressing the need for urgent measures to address Nigeria’s high fertility rate, through expanding access to modern contraceptive methods across the country.
He also inaugurated the National Council on Population Management, chaired by him, and the Vice President as the deputy chairman with Heads of relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies as members.
Details of both events were contained in a statement by Buhari’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, titled ‘Nigeria Seeks Urgent Measures to Address High Fertility Rate as President Buhari Launches Revised Population Policy’, on Thursday.
Speaking on the country’s revised population policy in Abuja, the President said its overall goal was to improve the quality of life and standards of living of all Nigerians, which was one of the major aspirations of his administration.
“The policy emphasizes the urgency to address Nigeria’s sustained high fertility rate, through expanding access to modern family planning, counseling, and commodities as well as promote births spacing.
“This will enable Nigeria to achieve rapid fertility control, improve the health of women, adolescents, newborns and children, and other population groups.”
Buhari noted that Nigeria’s population, which was 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.
On other highlights of the revised population policy, the President explained that it underscored the importance of investing in the quality education of young people (particularly girls), human capital development, and advancing the holistic effort to achieve the significant demographic transition.
“The Revised Population Policy is rich with all necessary information that will guide the implementation of Nigeria’s Mid-term and Perspective Development Plan.
“It will further address concerns of the large population of young people who are our pride, our future, and assets to drive our development efforts.”