Friday, 7 July 2017

Udoma Udoma, Chris Ngige and other dignitaries at the launch of the Roadmap to Demographic Dividend in Nigeria.

Minister of Budget and National Planning Mr. Udoma Udoma, Minister of Labour and Productivity Mr. Chris Ngige and the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewale on behalf of the Federal Government on Thursday 6th June, 2017 launched Nigeria’s Roadmap on Demographic Dividend. The event was held at the Banquet hall of the Presidential villa, Abuja.

The National Summit which launched the roadmap to Demographic Dividend in Nigeria was put together by the Office of the Vice President, National Population Commision, UNFPA and Population Council with the theme: Investing in Youth to Harness Demographic Dividend in Nigeria. 

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbanjo who was unavoidably absent was ably represented by the Minister of Budget and National Planning Mr. Udoma Udoma who gave the keynote address on behalf of the Acting President.

Investing in our people is a strategy to drive economy growth and our young people not oil are the country’s most valuable resource, he said in his keynote address. He explained that Demographic Dividend was an accelerated economic growth resulting from changes in a country’s population age structure.

He further said the Roadmap would specifically refocus on programmes and activities to ensure a healthy population, enhance the potential of young people to contribute to the economy, mainstream social protection, create social safety nets in all critical sectors and promote good governance and rule of law. 

He charged all sectors of the country to key into the opportunity presented by demographic dividend to move the country to achieve economic growth that will improve the well-being of all Nigerians.

The Minister of Health in his goodwill message warned against reaping a demographic disaster if we fail to reap a demographic dividend. With this, we need to do the right things as a country by tightening our belt and skirts , invest more in our youth as they hold the future of the country, he said.

He spoke further by saying that the country need to agree in a robust way to reduce our population. He again warned that if we continue at this rate we are likely to have a GDP per capital of about $5800 by 2015 but if we work harder to reduce population we might even double this GDP per capital and potentially we can lift about 15million people out of poverty and that is good for our nation.

Eze Duruiheoma (SAN), Chairman of the National Population Commission in his speech said youth are the key to a vibrant and productive Nigeria. He gave the following as keys to arresting youth restiveness:

1. Heavy investment in creation of decent jobs for youth

2. Provision of affordable and qualitative education

3. Provision of affordable and adequate health care

4. Equipping youth with the right information

5. Positive engagement of youth in politics

6. Agricultural empowerment

Reaping the profit of demographic dividend is a collective national goal he said. 

Vice President of Population Council, John Bongaarts said Nigeria is at an opportune moment. If Nigeria invests in meeting young people’s needs for education, jobs, health care and voluntary family planning, it can create the “demographic dividend” which has improved development in many other countries. 

Investing in Nigeria’s growing youth population could double its GDP per capita by 2100 and produce significant health, educational and social outcomes.

Following the summit and for the successful implementation of this policy, stakeholders are expected to develop action plan for the implementation of the roadmap with detailed goals with targets and indicators as well as clear tasks, roles and responsibilities.

Actions taken in this direction will be domiciled in the office of the Vice President for monitoring and tracking of the achievements of all sectors.

Photos from the event and all you need to know about Demographic Dividend in Nigeria coming soon……….. 

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