Managing Nigeria’s Population
The National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development outlines a multi-sectoral strategy for the challenges posed by rapid population growth. The policy strives to inform all stakeholders about the linkage s between population and developmental issues like housing, health, education, agriculture, food, economy, energy, environment, transportation, security, employment, urbanization and so forth. This in effect means the effect of population on the well being and quality of life of all Nigerians.
The policy states that
“To achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all people, Nigeria shall promote appropriate policies including population-related policies, to meet the needs of current generations, without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs“.
– National Population Policy, 2004
The guiding principles of the National policy on Population for Sustainable Development are in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which provides the Nigerians are entitled to all rights, privileges and provisions that should enhance their full and equal participation in all national development efforts.
To this end, therefore, Government at all levels shall ensure that all individuals are given the opportunity to make the most of their potentials. Government shall thus recognize and support the special needs of the children, youth, women and men, including the elderly and the disabled.
The Specific Goals
To achieve sustained economic growth, poverty eradication, protection of the environment and provision of quality of social services.
To achieve a balance between population growth rate and available resources.
To improve the productive health of all Nigerians at every stage of the life cycle.
To accelerate the response to HIV/AIDS epidemics and other related health issues.
To achieve a balanced and integrated urban and rural development.
- Achieve a reduction of the national population growth rate to 2 per cent or lower by the year 2015
- Achieve a reduction in total fertility rate of at least 0.6 children every five years.
- Increase the modern contraceptive prevalence rate by at least 2 percentage point per year.
- Reduce the infant mortality rate to 35 per 1000 live births by 2015.
- Reduce the child mortality rate to 45 per 1000 live births by 2015
- Reduce maternal mortality ratio to 125 per 100, 000 live births by 2010 and to 75 by 2015.
- Achieve sustainable basic education as soon as possible prior to the year 2015.
- Eliminate the gap between men and women in enrolment in secondary school, tertiary, vocational and technical education training by 2015
- Eliminate illiteracy by 2020.
- Achieve a 25 per cent reduction in HIV/AIDS adult prevalence every five years.
What We Must Do
- Educate every Nigerian child of full secondary school education.
- Promote the use of modern and natural family planning methods by couples.
- Empower women to widen their economic choices and increase their contributions to the family and the society.
- Immunize every Nigerian child against preventable communicable diseases.
- Increase opportunities for women to participate in national development activities.
- Increase production of food locally.
- Increase youth employment.
- Provide basic infrastructure in the rural areas to improve the quality of life.
- Protect the natural environment.
- Promote economic growth through investment and small-scale enterprises.
Achieving these will also support Nigeria ‘s achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Effective management of the National Population Programme is a national priority which demands the commitment, cooperation, collaboration and support of all the stakeholders, including the political and opinion leaders, policy makers in government and private sectors, Non- governmental and Civil Society groups, donor/development partners, community leaders and community-based organizations, traditional religious leaders, mass media and the general public.