Nigerian government has been tasked on youths investment to assure a brighter future for the nation.
This was the submission of country director, Pathfinder International, Dr. Farouk Jega as the country joined the rest of the world to mark 2018 World Contraception Day (WCD).
Jega in a statement viewed Nigerian young adults as the desired asset the country needs at this time to build up potentials of demographic dividends .
His comments are coming on the heels of the recently released publication by Bill and Melinda Gates, Goalkeepers, meant to track progress towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
The publication drew attention to the stark reality that unless something is done urgently, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo will be house to 40% of the world’s poorest people by 2050.
Pathfinder’s boss is concerned that in spite of the huge investments of the last ten years, contraceptive use in the nation is barely among ten out of every 100 people of reproductive age, 10 percent of the population.
“With a population nearing 200 million, about a quarter of who are young people, Nigeria has a good opportunity of harnessing the so-called demographic dividend by turning the ‘youth bulge’ into a productive segment contributing meaningfully to economic growth and development”, said Jega.
He suggests, “if the necessary investments are made in the young population – investments in their education, skills development and health care, including access to full and voluntary family planning, this demographic dividend can then be achieved”.
Jega also noted that the National Youth Policy is long overdue for revision to address the reproductive health needs of adolescents and young people in the country.
“Empowering our youthful population is an urgent necessity; failure to make the necessary investments in this restless segment of the population portends serious consequences, some of which may have already started manifesting in increased levels of insecurity and violent crimes across the country”.he pointed out.
Pathfinder International has been involved in developing and promoting the reproductive health rights of women, men and young people in Nigeria for 61years
“Our work ensures millions of women, men, and young people are able to choose their own paths forward”, noted Jega.