By Asma’u Ahmad
The National Population Commission (NPC) has urged delegates of the population retreat in Kaduna to produce a realistic national population policy for the Federal Government.
The Director-General of the commission, Dr Ghaji Bello, made the call on Monday at the 2004 National Population Policy Drafting and Development Strategic Implementation Plan meeting in Kaduna.
The weeklong activity is sponsored by the USAID Health Policy Plus (USAID HP+).According to Dr Bello, the 2004 policy required review to fall in line with current situations and within the development agenda of the United Nations and other agencies for the wellbeing of all Nigerians.
He said the reviewed policy would be presented to implementing agencies to have the objectives implemented while the result would be seen in the way of live of all Nigerians during the monitoring and evaluation of the goals and objectives.
Represented by the Director Population Management of NPC, Mr Sani Gar, Dr Bello said the mandate of the commission was not implementation but coordination of population rate activities to improve the living standards of all Nigerians.
“Members of the review team are from different ministries, agencies and NGOs who are responsible for the implementation of the objectives,’’ the director-general said.
He said that traditional rulers and religious leaders were educating their members as the effect of over population was affecting the whole country. He noted that scarce national resources needed to be channeled to other productive areas.
Malam Saidu Usman, a retired director of NPC who initiated the policy, said there were many articulated documents but without implementation, thus leaving the country with challenges of poverty and unemployment.
Malam Usman identified lack of strong will by government at all levels as hampering the smooth running of the operational policy.
The Country Director of HP+, Mr Ezire Onoriode, said it was necessary to revise the policy to align it with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to reduce fertility rate in the country.
Mr Onoriode called on MDAs to contribute to the policy review to ensure effective implementation by the federal government.