By Asmau Ahmad
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Population and National Identity Card, Alhaji Mohammed Mahmud, has called for the formation of a National Parliamentarian Forum on Population and Reproductive Health in the country.
In an interview with the News Men in Abuja, Alhaji Mahmud said the National Assembly was collaborating with stakeholders toward the establishment of the proposed forum to promote population, development, sexual and reproductive health issues.
He noted that the effort would assist in improving the quality of lives of all teenage girls in Nigeria irrespective of their background.
The chairman, who identified teenage girls as drivers of change and securer of our future, however decried making them mothers while they were still children and subjected to social devastation, educational, economic and health outcomes.
According to him, those of them who become pregnant are confronted with discrimination within their communities and are often forced to drop out of schools or get married.
Mahmud described their role as policy makers as crucial at ensuring that human right which is universal is also enjoyed by teenage girls, especially where their rights to quality education, healthcare and freedom from violence is guaranteed.
“We in NASS will work assiduously to put in place the right policies and investments in their education and health, and create conditions that will empower them to contribute to efforts that will accelerate our economic growth and eventual realisation of demographic dividend.
“We are collaborating with relevant stakeholders for the formation of National Parliamentarian Forum on population, development, sexual and reproductive health to help drive this process,” Mahmud said.