BY OBUTE JAMES
The Chairman Senate Committee on National Population and National Identity, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi on Tuesday in statement to mark the World Population Day said his committee will support the necessary legislation on family planning, Child spacing and empowerment.
Senator Hunkuyi who made this known when the delegation from National Population Commission and a civil society group, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning paid his committee a courtesy visit on Tueday July 11 said though there is need to strike a balance between population and available resources, there are enormous advantages of population.
He said a well managed population is a strength of the nation.
According to him, if there can be proper planning and utilization of the scarce resources, population indeed will be a strength of Nigeria.
The National Population Commissioner for FCT, Dr. Aliyu Kwali who led the delegation on behalf of the NPC National Chairman said the estimated population of Nigeria now is about 192 million with 3.2 percent growth annually.
He said if nothing is being done to strike a balance between population growth and available resources, there could be danger ahead.
He said while the country’s size does not increase, rather the significant portion is lost to desertification, the population growth rate is the first in the world.
Similarly, the representative of Association for the Advancement of Family Planning called on the Federal Government to create a budget line for family planning and population activities.
The civil society also said government should redeem its London Summit Commitments.
The House Committee Chairman on National Population and National Identity, Hon. Mahmud Abdulkadir said he agreed with what Senator Hunkuyi. said. He promised to partner with the Senate committee to work on any legislation that will bring about growth of the country.
In a paper presented by AAFP, “women who choose family planning are healthier and face lower risk of maternal death.
” Children born to women who space their pregnancies tend to be healthier and face reduced risk of death in their first five years.”
The organization also said in Nigeria, 111 women die daily as a result of pregnancy and birth, noting that family planning programmes can reduce maternal deaths by 33% and child deaths by 20%.
The theme of this year World Population Day is Family Planning, Child Spacing, Empowering People and Developing Nations.
July 11 every year is marked as World Population Day. This day was established by the governing council of the United Nations in 1989 and seeks to raise awareness on global population issues especially by increasing the knowledge and skills of people worldwide towards their reproductive health and family planning.