Nigeria improves on Family Planning rate

Gloria Essien, Abuja


The Association for the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP) says Nigeria has done well in improving family planning rate in the country.

It gave the commendation at a media briefing to sensitize the media on the FP2020 London Summit Commitment and what Nigeria has done in its commitments so far.

The chairman of the AAFP, Prof. Oyebode Ladipo, said that over population is steering Nigeria in the face and government needed to do something about it.

The issue of family planning is still topical, it will always be topical because we support qualitative production, not quantitative production and I think it is important for all Africans in particular Nigerians to realize that sustain high population is not in the interest of the continent .

There’s no developed nation that has not moderated its population goal and we should learn from all those who have achieved transition from low income, middle income to developed country status.

We should not shy away from recognizing the adverse consequences of unchecked population goal which is staring us in the face, virtually every sector is adversely affected,” Professor Ladipo said.

The Chairman of Technical and Management Committee of the Association for the Advancement of Family Planning, Dr. Ejike Orji, said that there is need to work on states to develop their resources too to measure up to what the federal government is doing.

“Health is on the concurrent list. So, the federal government cannot prescribe to the states what they have to do or in any way force them. They can only advocate. They have to do what they have to do and the population is within the state and local government.  And I think this one area we need to increase our advocacy,He said.

Dr Orji also noted that the increase Nigeria is on the right track towards achieving the FP 2020 as it has increased its reach.

“Nigeria remained at 10% for many years, almost more than 10yrs but the recent midterm study that was done showed that we are now at 14.7% and that something is happening, there is some movement, and that why we are all working hard to see to the fact that by 2020 we would make the 27%. What it means is that we have made 10% to go,” He said.

He said that the insurgency being experienced in Nigeria is as a result families having more children that they can cater for.

“We have three things if you see you know that the country is in a demographic crisis that means you have more people that your country can take care of. The population we have now, if we can invest in it and make people who can produce services then we can take over Africa and our income and Capital will increase,” Dr. Orji noted.

He gave three reasons why the Association for the Advancement of Family Planning is worried about the Nigerian population.

“So, the reason why some of us are worried is that if you look at the three [3] major reasons for demographic crises they are here:

When you have high youths unemployment in the country which is what we have now.

Secondly, if you have your Nationals immigrating, you can see what is happening is not just skilled labour, unskilled labour is also leaving. You can see what is going on the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of people from Libya.

These are people who were transiting to go to Europe, some of them have been enslaved and some died at the Mediterranean Sea.

Then the last one, when Nationals skill starts killing Nationals. So, any misguided young person is a very dangerous young person and that’s why we have all these things happening, criminality has increased because of the population that are largely unemployed,”  He added.

Dr Orji said that t the commitment made by Nigeria at the London Family Planning summit is yielding results as the country has increased budget allocation to family planning and increase it rate reach from three to four million dollars.

On his part, the Chairman of the Board of Trustee of the association, Alhaji Sani Umar Jabbi, said that more families need to embrace family planning for a better society.

He stressed that one hundred and one women dying every day from pregnancy related complications was unacceptable.

A member of the board, Mrs. Asma’u Jode, urged leaders to be good examples for family planning.

She added that family planning should not be left for women alone.

The briefing, with the theme “Towards achieving Nigeria Renewed FP2020 commitments” was aimed at seeking media support to further galvanise the interest of stakeholders who will provide leadership for the implementation of the renewed FP 2020 commitment.

Aisha JM