Dr Ejike Oji, the Chairman, Technical Management Committee, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP), says fertility control is key to increasing Nigeria’s per capital income, aimed at engendering higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Oji made this known at the flagship News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum on Thursday in Abuja, adding that “Nigeria is among countries with low Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) at 12 per cent.”
He noted that about 20 per cent of women and girls in the country were unable to access family planning services and commodities, resulting to youthful bulge.
The medical practitioner said that about 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population was under 30 years, which remained a threat to the country’s economic stability and security. He noted that “demographic crisis is being heightened by youthful bulge, emigration, clashes, shrinking of physical space as a result of Sahara desert and Lake Chad’s encroachment.”
Oji, who reiterated the imperatives of regulating the number of children per family, said it was paramount in securing a healthy and prosperous future for generations unborn, as well as stabilising the economy. According to him, the country’s youthful bulge is not just unemployed but largely unemployable. The Family Planning advocate decried the rate of emigration of skilled and unskilled labour to foreign countries, saying it was orchestrated by demographic crisis.
Oji advocated generational deliberate steps, massive investment in appropriate education, security, ease of doing business and justice as veritable steps to transiting the country to demographic dividends.
He called for political will among state governments in particular to complement Federal Government’s commitment to attaining the rebased 27 per cent prevalence for family planning as promised by Nigeria in the FP 2020 Initiative. (NAN).