The Executive Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC) Nasir Isa Kwarra has said that timely registration of births, deaths and census is key to proper planing of national sustainable development agenda.
Kwarra expressed this in his press statement released to mark 2021 World Population Day said “I wish to state that quality, reliable, accurate, robust, comprehensive and well-disaggregated data is key to drive the full implementation of the just approved Revised National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development”
World Population Day, is a day recognized to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues, it was established by the then-Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989.
The theme of this year World Population Day, which marked on Tuesday, 24th of August is “Right and Choices are the Answer: Whether Baby Boom or Bust, the Solution lies in Prioritizing the Reproductive Health and Right of all People”
Talking on the theme, NPC Chairman said the theme brings to the fore the enormous challenges Women and Girls encountered during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic afterwards said, beside economic challenges, lack of access to basic healthcare, especially access to Sexual and Reproductive Health care services, including for family planning, constituted a huge concern.
“In Nigeria, COVID-19 pandemic impacted more on Women and Girls during the lengthy lockdown, and it has exacerbated gender inequalities and gender-based violence, with an increased incidence of violence under lockdowns”
Said “Research shows that those with access to sexual and reproductive health services, delay childbearing in times of fiscal uncertainty or crisis, saying while disruptions in the supply of contraceptives combined with lockdowns are predicted to result in a sharp rise in unplanned pregnancies for the most vulnerable”
“In a frantic effort to address matters arising from COVID-19 in Nigeria, issues of reproductive health particularly Family Planning suffered complete neglect. This reverses gains made on Population Management with short and long term implications regarding efforts to align our population growth (arising from high fertility rate) with economic growth to conditions for Demographic Transition, harnessing the Demographic Dividend, achieving the SDGs” he said
Added that “This year World Population Day, theme draws attention to the importance of raising awareness about the sexual and reproductive health needs and vulnerabilities of Women and Girls”
‘Baby Boom or Baby Bust’ “it start with addressing major data gaps that limits our current understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on fertility. Timely and accurate information about births, deaths for proper understanding of our demographic shifts, are collected through a national census and effective and efficient civil registration system”
He added that this raises more urgency and imperativeness for the conduct of the next Nigeria Population and Housing Census to provide data and evidence.
Hon. Kwarra, however concluded that comprehensive and well disaggregated data is a prerequisite for addressing the concerns highlighted by the theme of this year’s World Population Day.