Nigeria to review population policy – Udoma

The federal government will carry out a comprehensive review of Nigeria’s current population policy and would require the support of the National Assembly for effective implementation of the revised policy.

The review, a collaboration between the ministry of budget and planning and that of health, would also entail benchmarking initiatives undertaken by other countries with high levels of population, budget, and planning minister Udoma Udo Udoma has said.

The minister was speaking at an interactive session at the ongoing Parliamentary Open Week which began at the National Assembly in Abuja on Monday.

He told lawmakers that population management is one of the 60 key programmes set out in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) as a strategic initiative to ensure that the gains of government economic policies are felt by the citizens.

This was in realization that unless something urgent was done about the country’s rate of population growth, it would be difficult for the people to feel the full impact of the GDP growth; which is why whilst seeking to grow the economy, government is at the same time seeking to manage the rate of population growth.

He said with an estimated population of 198 million people and a projected growth rate of 3.2% per annum, Nigeria’s population will be more than 289 million by 2050 and the fourth largest in the world. Therefore, it is imperative that we introduce measures to bring down the growth rate to less than 2%.

Udoma said following the implementation of reform initiatives in the ERGP, the business environment has been reinvigorated and is improving steadily as investor confidence has returned with capital inflows in 2017 doubling that of 2016; and that of first quarter of 2018 growing by 500% in comparison with the same quarter in 2017.