NPC: 2023 census will meet international standards
Chairman of the Commission, Nasir Isa-Kwarra, gave the assurance on Thursday in Abuja at the commemoration of the 2022 World Population Day, with the theme: “A World of Eight Billion: Towards a Resilient Future – Harnessing Opportunities and Ensuring Rights and Choices for All.”
He said, “To have the right information/evidence/data for measuring and predicting likely demographic shifts, we need to hold a census that will provide current, reliable and acceptable data required for addressing the different needs of the various population groups and implement interventions that will create opportunities for progress and removes barriers that inhibits them. This will guarantee individuals realizing their full potential.”
On Nigeria’s youth bulge, the NPC Chairman noted that the current youthful age structure holds the momentum to drive a sustained increase of Nigeria’s population growth into the future, without immediate interventions.
His words, “Nigeria is among the eight countries globally sustaining the world population growth and leading in Africa. Current projections at 216 million people, who represent 216 million opportunities; if aptly harnessed, could transform the development landscape of our nation.
“The people’s age 13 structure favours the young people (those below the age of 30 years) who make up over 70 percent of our population.
“The situation calls for attention on providing quality and sustained investments in health care, particularly in family planning of women and adolescents, transformative and relevant education for growing numbers of children and young people that fits into current and future jobs requirements, housing and decent employment/jobs across successive administrations and governance.”
Because of Nigeria’s large youth population, the United Nations Population Fund Resident Representative, Ulla Mueller, said that African nations are relying on Nigeria to assist in achieving the Sustainable and Development Goals, SDGs, 2030, for the continent.
She said, “As you may be aware, Nigeria’s population is currently increasing at a rate of 3.2 percent annually and it is projected at 216 million in 2022 and may reach 400 million by 2050, making it the world’s most populated nation.
“This rapid population increase implies that Africa and global attempts to achieve the SDGs rely heavily on Nigeria’s development. So my Nigerian compatriots, you have a huge responsibility to lead the African region.”
On his part, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said Nigeria must regulate its fertility rate to achieve sustainable development.
Ehanire, who was represented by the Director Family Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Salma Anas, said, “We must regulate fertility, without fertility regulation we are going nowhere. This is actually the key to unlock the success of sustainable development in Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Health has positioned itself to fulfill this purpose.”