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Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, says the Federal Government would work with other partners in turning the country’s huge population into an advantage.
Ngige said this while delivering his keynote address to mark the sixth Annual Population Lecture Series (APLS) with the theme, “Governance, People’s Rights and Opportunities”. According to him, there will not be a viable country without people, saying that the federal government is not afraid by the growing large population.
Ngige added that the ministry was working hard to increase the work force as well as reduce the unemployment rate of 18.4 percent, which he said was unacceptable.
Speaking, Eze Duruiheoma, Chairman, National Population Commission (NPopC) said that the relationship between people’s rights and opportunities under good governance was that it created an opportunity for everyone. Duruiheoma explained that the APLS was an event that focuses on growing population issues, which called for the attention of policy makers. He also stated that there was leadership challenge for good governance such as lack of transparency, electoral reform, corruption, unemployment, security and human rights.
In similar vein, Sen. Olarenwaju Tejuosho, Chairman Senate Committee on Health, called on the executive arm to release the additional one million dollars meant for Family Planning services.Making the call during the conference, he noted that FP was a major contributor in the progress of Nigeria, saying it will help reduce the nation’s populace and it was important for the nation to improve on FP in order to reach its full potential.
He added that investing in FP was one of the smartest investments in achieving demographic dividends, as access to FP services would help reduce the maternal mortality rate. He therefore admonished the government, private sector and stakeholders to improve on the accessibility of FP products.