Every 11th day of July is set aside to commemorate the World Population Day globally and  this year’s celebration  with the theme ‘Family Planning: Empowering people, Developing Nations’ was marked in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital with a one-day sensitization jointly organized by the Kwara State Directorates of National Population Commission and National Orientation Agency.

The event, which held at the Conference hall of Federal Secretariat Conference, Fate Road, had in attendance the Honourable Commissioner for Information, Alh. Mahmud Babatunde Ajeigbe, represented by Alh. Fatai Dan Kazeem, Director General of Michael Imodu Institute of Labour Studies,Alh. Ishaq Saliu Alabi, Permanent Secretary of Kwara State Bureau of Statistics Alh. Nasiru Ibrahim and Dr Orire Ismail, from the University of Ilorin. Other participants were Members of Staff from National Orientation Agency, National population Commission and representatives from the media, health sector, academia, civil service, NGOs, FBOs and other critical stakeholders.

In his opening remarks, the State Director NOA, Mr Olusegun Adeyemi stated that the sensitization programme was aimed at creating awareness on the importance of population to our national development.

Also, while commending the NPC and NOA for organizing the sensitization programme, the Honourable Commisioner for Information and Communications emphasized the need for every individual to pay close attention to population issues and play their part in the development of the nation.

The programme featured goodwill messages from participants and drama presentation by NOA Theatre for Development and the highpoint of the event was the paper presentation by the NPC Chairman, Chief Eze Duruiheoma (SAN) ably represented by the NPC State Director Pastor Elisha Funsho Adekeye where he noted that family planning is a life-saving intervention for empowering nations and developing people.

From the paper presentation and comments made, the following were noted:

  • Family planning is an issue everyone should embrace irrespective of religion and ethnic affiliation;
  • Family planning transcends sexual intercourse matters between couples and has profound implications on the health, economic and social-well-being of the society;
  • Nigeria is already over-populated but we need to maximize the population;
  • Governments at all levels must use the statistics available to plan for the health and education needs of Nigerians;
  • Parents and guardians must empower their wards with skills and crafts that will give them a source of livelihood without relying on jobs from the government;
  • The government must provide an enabling environment for agriculture to thrive;

World population day celebration is a wake-up call for Nigeria to hold a national conference and make concrete plans for both present and future.

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