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UNFPA CALLS FOR CONDUCT OF POPULATION CENSUS IN NIGERIA

June 8, 2023

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The United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA) has called on Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu “to set a date for the conduct of the census” in the country.

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The United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA) has called on Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu “to set a date for the conduct of the census” in the country.

The UNFPA Resident Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Ulla Mulla made the call at this year’s State of the World Population (SWOP) Report titled “8 Billion Lives, Infinite Possibilities – The Case for Rights and Choices.”

She said the aim was to reshape the conventional understanding of population figures and calls on policymakers and the media to abandon sensationalized narratives about population booms and busts.

She also noted that the 2023 State of the World Population Report is to create an “understanding of how demography will impact the economy; An unwavering commitment to human rights and the fertility aspirations of all people.”

She further said that the report “Assured access to sexual and reproductive health and rights; Empowerment of young people; established family policies that help build strong, diverse and resilient families.”

She reiterated “a relentless pursuit of gender equality, recognition that inclusive societies are resilient societies and inclusion of migrants”.

The Chairman National Population Commission, Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra while giving his welcome remarks stated that “Given the current and anticipated population growth, Nigeria stands to gain if significant and targeted investments are made in providing quality education that respond to the dynamics of the global labour market and which favours girls’ (we need to keep our girls in school and protect them from early/child/forced marriage)”

The Chairman of the Commission also said by connecting with the new Administration, the National Population Commission (NPC), intends to further this conversation to bring to the fore, the importance of “Putting People at the Centre of Development”.

He noted that this is “to achieve Good Governance through the platform of Population Management and the implementation of the National Population Policy (NPP)”.

Hon. Kwarra also said that the “State of the World Population Report, is a flagship achievement of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)”.

He noted that the report “comes with a theme that spotlights prevailing or emerging population and development concerns with a focus on unique population groups – women, young people, adolescents and girls.”

NPC Chairman reiterated that “This year’s theme reminds us of the global achievement recorded on November 15, 2022, when the world became 8 Billion Strong.”

Mr Adebiyi Olufunsho, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Heath, called for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.

Olufunsho, represented by John Ovuoraye, Director Gender/Adolescent Division, said that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals had the elimination of violence against women as a key target.

The permanent secretary explained that the ultimate focus of every programme should be on empowering women and girls to make informed choices regarding their sexual reproductive health.

He said the case for ‘Rights and Choices’ was a reminder that complete health was not the absence of illness, but rather, the state of complete mental, physical, financial and psychological well-being of every man and woman of a nation.

Olufunsho reiterated the imperatives of gender equality which he identified as key to achieving bodily autonomy and global development.

He affirmed the determination of the ministry to work closely with the National Population Commission and other stakeholders to implement the recommendations of the SWOP.

Other development partners also called for the conduct of the 2023 Population and Housing Census in Nigeria to generate reliable data for evidence-based planning and policymaking.

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