By Zayamu Hassan
The revised National Population Policy has the ambition of reducing maternal mortality ratio from the current 512 to 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2025 and zero maternal deaths by 2030.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, signed the National Population Policy recently.
Speaking at a workshop for journalists on the revised National Population Policy for sustainable development in Abuja, Tuesday, the Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Nasir Isa Kwara, further revealed that the National Population Policy also targets to reduce unmet need for family planning from the current 19 percent to zero by 2030.
It also aims to reduce the under-5 mortality rate from the current 132 to 40 per 1000 live birth by 2030.
The workshop was organised by the NPC with sponsorship from the Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN).
The policy, according to him, aims to achieve a reduction of the National annual population growth rate to 2% by year 2030; achieve a reduction in the total fertility rate from the current 5.3 to 4.0 by 2030.
He revealed that the policy also targets to reduce gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls from the current 46 percent to 22 percent in 2025 and to zero by 2030 and also reduce Rural to Urban migration by five per cent yearly.
Kwara further said that the implementation of the National Population Policy is complex and multi-sectoral.
According to him, “all tiers and relevant agencies of government, the private sector, Non-Governmental Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, the Media, Faith Based Organizations, the Traditional Institutions, Communities, Donors and Partners shall be actively involved in its implementation;
“The National Population Commission is the Statutory Coordinating Agency and one of the implementing agencies.”
Speaking on resource mobilization to achieve the policy, Kwara said: “Government, the Media, Civil Society, and Private Sector will work together to mobilize resources from internal and external sources for implementation of the Population Policy.
“Government will endeavour to increase its funding level for Population and Development programmes commensurate with the scope and scale of activities required to achieve the goals and targets of the National Population Policy.
“Donor and development partners are also expected to provide technical, advisory, financial and materials support for the implementation of the national population policy.”
In his remarks, the Convener of the workshop, Coordinator of AHBN, Dr Aminu Magashi Garba, applauded the President for signing the policy, stressing that it is a big step for Nigeria to use its population in a positive way to address the critical areas of economy, health security and sustainable development.
“This is the only policy in Nigeria that is expected to be signed by the President. That will tell you the significance of the National Population Policy. Every policy in Nigeria is signed by the Minister in charge of the ministry or the agency, this is the only policy that must be signed by the president.
“The family planning agenda is linked to the population policy because without having a robust policy, it will be difficult for Nigeria to achieve the Family Planning 2030.
“I really want to appeal to the media to embrace this policy on the National Population.
“One of the objectives of the meeting is to build a friendship between the NPC and the media. This meeting is actually going to open the door of friendship between the NPC and the media.”
Dr. Magashi, however, stressed that AHBN was fully committed to support the NPC and the Federal Ministry of health to ensure that the country achieve the 2030 target of its population.
Speaking, the Chairman, National Advocates for Health, Muhammad Usman, commended the NPC for putting together the interface with the media and the chairman for sparing his time to attend personally.
The engagement, he said, is for the benefit of all Nigerians.
He also applauded the convener of the meeting and coordinator of AHBN, Dr Magashi, whom he said, has been supporting the federal government in various aspects.
It would be recalled that on February 4, 1988, the Federal Government of Nigeria approved the first National Policy on population for development, unity, progress and self-reliance
In January 2004, 16 years after, the Federal Government of also approved a revised National Population Policy tagged “national policy on population for sustainable development”
Another review that led to the revised policy was initiated in 2015. The revised policy integrates population dynamics into national development, taking into consideration the inherent diversities and interests of the people of Nigeria and their overall well-being.
On the other hand, on February 3, 2022, the President officially launch the third revised National Policy on Population for sustainable development, seven years after the expiration of the 2004 National Population Policy.