World Population Day: TCI Urges Family Planning for Sustainable Nigeria 

In commemoration of World Population Day 2024, themed “Embracing the Power of Inclusive Data Towards a Resilient and Equitable Future for All,” we align with the urgent need for sustainable and comprehensive family planning/childbirth spacing programme to address the challenges of rapid population growth in Nigeria.

This year’s theme underscores the critical role of inclusive data in fostering sustainable development and ensuring that every Nigerian has access to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.

Thirty years ago, the International Conference on Population Development (ICPD) recognized the importance of placing people at the centre of development. This milestone has led to significant advancements in reproductive health care, reductions in maternal mortality, and improvements in gender equality. A vital yet often underappreciated driver of these achievements has been the strategic use of data.

Since 1994, numerous initiatives, including the UN Secretary General’s call for a “data revolution,” have bolstered countries’ abilities to collect and analyse data crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Despite these advancements, gaps remain, particularly for marginalized communities.

The Need for Family Planning/Childbirth Uptake
Nigeria faces significant challenges with rapid population growth, which exacerbates poverty, strains healthcare systems, and impedes sustainable development. The country’s current population exceeds 200 million, with projections indicating continued rapid growth. “Embracing the power of inclusive and comprehensive data collection and analysis are critical for effective family planning. This is essential to manage the demographic trend, ensuring that resources are adequately allocated to improve the quality of life for all Nigerians, says Dr. Taiwo Johnson, the country team lead at The Challenge Initiative (TCI).

According to her, the 2024 World Population Day is a pivotal moment for the country to reflect on her challenges and realise the importance of family planning and childbirth spacing to address the country’s unique demographic needs, particularly in urban, peri-urban, rural and underserved areas.

Comprehensive data collection and analysis helps to institute informed planning and service delivery which is very essential for all states to address the needs of the populace and to deliver the ‘dividends’ of democracy, which has eluded Nigerians since the inception of the current democratic governance since 1999. Efforts by TCI in 23 States across Nigeria have been yielding fruits with support to governments across the country
Nigeria has made tremendous progress in sexual and reproductive health over the last 30 years has been driven by improved data collection and analysis, enabling better planning and monitoring. The country must continue to prioritize investments in population data systems, ensuring data collection is safe and inclusive. Specifically, new data tools can highlight invisible issues but must be managed carefully to avoid biases and privacy risks.

For sustainability and enhanced resilience, the country must sustain the current progress and ensure inclusive programming to accommodate the most marginalized communities excluded from advancements, and growing inequalities in healthcare access.

Nigeria must invest in inclusive, equitable, and transparent data collection processes and emphasize family planning to manage population growth. This investment will ensure the creation of resilient systems that reflect the diverse experiences of all Nigerians, leading to a sustainable and prosperous future where rights and choices are enjoyed by everyone.

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