‘Nigeria’s population, tool for devt’

By Femi Atolagbe
Ondo State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget , Pastor Emmanuel Igbasan has described Nigeria’s population particularly those in the working age group of 15-64 years as a veritable tool for economic development.

Igbasan stated this during the presentation of Policy Brief on Harnessing Demographic Dividend held in Akure the Ondo State capital, yesterday.

According to him “it is a known fact that sustainable development cannot be achieved without appropriate planning and investment in the population to ensure that all strata of the population receive the desired attention in line with the objectives of the government “.

He said planning and investment will ensure that all women, men, girls and boys enjoy the dignity and human rights to expand their capabilities, secure their reproductive health and rights , find decent work and contribute to economic growth .

The commissioner added that the impact of the Global Economic crisis has also defied national boundaries, age ,gender or colour, saying the current administration in Ondo State is fully aware of all these and has been pursuing vigorously the efforts to bring development to all the nooks and crannies of the state.

He added that the Philosophy of the administration as encapsulated in its “JMPPR” development policy will impact on all her citizens, adding that in achieving this, adequate and judicious use of available resources is key to sustainable development .

Dr Adeleke Bisiriyu of the Department of Demography and Social Statistics, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife who presented a paper said Demographic transition provides the window of opportunity for execution of Development-Oriented Government policies while he added that growth and changes in the age structure of the population during transition are unavoidable ,if proper policies are followed .

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Bisiriyu identified four ways in which Demographic Dividend can be achieved which include Low Fertility Rates , healthy and educated population , female labour force participation and positive investment climate and appropriate infrastructures.

The Statistician General of the Ondo State Bureau of Statistics, Mr Dayo Aregbesola thereafter urged the consultant to collate all the opinions of the participants and make it known to the government for policy direction .

Aregbesola described civil servants as the best change agents that will help harness Demographic Dividends not just in Ondo State but across the country.

The Ondo State Statistician General also lauded the Partners for helping to organize another platform whereby stakeholders were able to brainstorm on the way forward.

In her contribution the Permanent Secretary State Universal Basic Education Board, Mrs Olufunmilayo Oni said there should be more orientation on how to reduce over population emphasizing that  something has to be done about the high fertility rate.

‘Nigeria’s population, tool for devt’

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