The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunimbe Mamora, has reiterated Federal Government’s commitment toward expanding the uptake of Family Planning (FP) services in the country.
He said this at the virtual launch of the Demographic Dividend Effort Index Report (DDEIR) in Abuja on Thursday.
The launch was at the instance of the 6th Nigeria Family Planning Conference 2020 (NFPC), organised by the Association for the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP).
The conference is a biennial gathering which brings together stakeholders to brainstorm on progress made so far, identify emerging issues on family planning/reproductive health and chart the way forward toward improving the existing situation.
It has “Post FP 2020 Agenda and Safeguarding Investments in Emergencies: Adaptation. Innovation. Resilience” as its theme.
Mamora, who described the FP Conference/launch of the DDEIR as timely, called for the collaboration by stakeholders to accelerate the achievement of demographic dividends.
He added that the conference was a platform for stakeholders and partners to leverage on past achievements for economic development, while emphasising the need to manage the country’s population to avert disastrous economic challenges in the future.
According to him, if the issues are not deliberated upon, they will lead to poverty and underdevelopment.
He noted that factors like the COVID-19 pandemic and low level of female education and misconceptions had slowed down the uptake of family planning.
Alhaji Isa Kwarra, the Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC), described the scorecard as a veritable tool for harnessing demographic dividends.
Kwarra, who was represented by Dr Adenike Ogunlewe, the Director, Planning and Research, NPC, expressed optimism that the scorecard would enhance planning and national policy.
He said that it also would go a long way in impacting meaningfully to national policy, as well as economic development of the country.
Ms Yosola Akinbi, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, National Economic Council (NEC), reiterated government’s determination to move Nigeria to attain demographic dividends.
Akinbi explained that the NEC was committed to ensuring that every woman was protected via access to Universal Health Coverage.
Dr Ejike Oji, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the Nigeria Family Planning Conference (NFPC), said that reduction of fertility was paramount in efforts to harness demographic dividends.
Oji highlighted the importance of having quality healthcare in Nigeria to mitigate the level of medical tourism in the country which, he said, would increase the nation’s income.
“Quality education is also very important because it will help in equipping youths for the future tasks of economic development.
“The ease of doing business, justice and fairness to one another can also go a long way in impacting on the economy positively,” Oji said.
Ms Margaret Edison, the Deputy Director, Population Management, NPC, stressed the need for quality of family planning in efforts to reduce maternal deaths and neonatal deaths.