The National Population Commission (NPC) on Thursday trained no fewer than 1,250 personnel in the Daura Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The personnel consisting of facilitators, supervisors, and enumerators, were drawn from several communities in Daura, the hometown of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The training is not unconnected with preparation for the 2023 population and housing census scheduled to hold in April next year.
The first fully digital trial census covering 7, 718 enumeration areas across six selected states in the six geopolitical zones of the country is expected to be completed simultaneously on July 30th, 2022.
NPC Federal Commissioner of the National Population Commission (NPC), Engineer Bala Almu-Banye, disclosed this in a press conference held in Daura.
He said in the North East, Toungo Local Government Area of Adamawa State will have full coverage during the trial census followed by Idemili South LGA of Anambra State in the South East.
Similarly in the South-South, Brass LGA of Bayelsa State will also be fully covered followed by Daura LGA of Katsina State in the North West as well as Karu LGA of Nasarawa State in the North Central and Imeko – Afon LGA of Ogun State in South West.
According to Banye, the trial census training workshop is designed to equip the commission’s field officers with the required skills to effectively and efficiently deliver on the exercise, adding that it will as well serve as a testing ground for the commission’s instruments ahead of the general census.
The trial census, according to Banye, is expected to commence from July 11 to 24 while the house numbering will take place from 11th to 16th July, to be followed by validation of the Enumeration Area frame from 17th to 19th July and enumeration of persons from 20th to 24th July 2022 respectively.
Earlier on Wednesday, the commission had organised a stakeholders’ town hall meeting in Daura Local Government Area of Katsina State regarding the exercise.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday called for the expansion of access to modern contraceptive methods across the country to address the nation’s rising population.
Speaking at the launch of the revised National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development in the State House, Abuja, President Buhari explained that the overall goal of the policy is to improve the quality of life and standards of living of all Nigerians.
The President also inaugurated the national council on population management, which he chairs.
“The policy emphasizes the urgency to address Nigeria’s sustained high fertility rate, through expanding access to modern family planning, counselling and commodities as well as promote births spacing,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.
“This will enable Nigeria to achieve rapid fertility control, improve the health of women, adolescents, newborn and children, and other population groups.”
While noting that Nigeria’s population, which is the largest in Africa, seventh globally and among the few whose fertility is still growing, is hinged on a youthful population, the President stated that more than 72 percent of the youths are below 30 years while half of the female population are in their reproductive years (15-49 years).
He explained that other highlights of the revised population policy underscore the importance of investing in quality education of young people (particularly girls), human capital development, advancing holistic effort to achieve significant demographic transition.
“The Revised Population Policy is rich with all necessary information that will guide the implementation of Nigeria’s Mid-term and Perspective Development Plan.
“It will further address concerns of the large population of young people who are our pride, our future and assets to drive our development efforts,” the President added.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has asked Nigerian leaders to begin at this moment in the nation’s history, to prepare for and against population explosion.
Obasanjo said Nigeria’s population is becoming a liability due to its improper management, stressing that except there is urgent intervention, then the nation may be declared the third most populous nation in the world.
The former president stated this in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital on Sunday, during a mentoring session with students of some selected schools across the country tagged “raising the next wave of innovative leaders through entrepreneurship.”
According to him, population management must come to the fore, especially in the face of the geometric population explosion without a corresponding socio-economic development.
Speaking further about the situation which he says has slowed down national development, Obasanjo expressed worry over the management of the population of the nation.
He said “We have moved from 120 million to over 200 million. We have added the population of France to our population and if we continue the way we are going, by the year 2050 we will be the third-largest country in the world.
“If we still continue, by the year 3000, we would be the largest country in the world.
“What are we going to do to handle that, how are we going to handle that population? If we do not start getting it right now, we will not get it right by the year 2050.”
Arguing that the population could either be an asset or a liability, the elder statesman noted that if the nation does not make adequate preparations then the country will pay for its over-population both now and in the future.
“What we need to do is education about population management. Some people don’t like saying family planning, but whatever you do, you must manage your population to the benefit of all that is living within your nation,” Obasanjo stated.
While fielding questions from the students on mentorship, the former president highlighted service to the fatherland, integrity, loyalty, and good moral standing as some of the virtues that could sustain them in their varied career paths.
The National Population Commission has announced its readiness to conduct a nationwide census from June 2021 to early 2022.
NPC Chairman, Nasir Kwarra, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja at the official presentation of the demographic dividend scorecard in the nation’s capital.
While acknowledging that the census has been delayed by five years, the commission said it has been in talks with the Federal Government on the issue.
“On our part we are ready. We can start conducting census from June 2021 to early 2022”, the NPC boss said.
“The issue of a census is at the front burner. We know that on our part we have already been delayed for about 5 years, but we are doing our best to speak with the government so that they can make a proclamation.
The last population census was conducted across the country in 2016.
Austria on Sunday banned gatherings of more than five people and told residents to go out only if necessary, in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus.
Police would enforce new restrictions on public life, the government said, threatening fines for non-compliance.
The tougher measures were decided at an extraordinary session of parliament, during which Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called on the population to self-isolate and limit contacts to “the people they live with”.
People should leave home only to work, buy food or help others, he said.
“The freedom of movement in our country is going to be massively limited,” Kurz said, adding the measures were “necessary to defend the health of the Austrian people”.
By Sunday, Austria had registered 800 coronavirus cases and two deaths.
Cafes, restaurants, playgrounds and sports facilities will now also be shut down, following Friday’s decision to close non-essential shops.
The Economic Advisory Council (EAC) on Thursday raised concern about the slow rate at which the nation’s economy is growing.
The team called President Muhammadu Buhari’s attention to the situation during a meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Led by Professor Doyin Salami, the eight-member council noted that the economy was improving at a slower pace compared to that of the nation’s population.
Presenting their report, Professor Salami, supported by interventions by Council members, responded to questions by the President and his team.
They outlined some of the challenges facing the economy and proffered solutions to most of them.
The Way Forward
The Council asked the Federal Government to strengthen national statistical agencies, reform procurement processes, improve education.
It also stressed the need for job planning in training offered by academic institutions.
EAC also brought to the government its views on borrowing, macroeconomic stability, and the need to provide a friendly climate for foreign investment.
“We need an environment that will attract investment. People will come only when they feel confident and when they come, their exit will not be challenging,” said Professor Salami.
The council also resolved to focus on legacy projects by the administration before 2023.
In his response, President Buhari gave a firm commitment that his administration would be bound by the council’s advice on economy-related matters.
He, therefore, gave the first directive from EAC’s recommendations that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, should urgently address the lapses observed in coordination between ministries and all agencies of the government.
“The lack of synergy between Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) would no longer be accepted,” the President warned in a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu.
He added, “We are working for the country, not for personal interests. We have the same objective of service to the people and we will resolve this.”
The Most Delicate Aspect
Reviewing the work of the Council since its inauguration, President Buhari said, “I am highly pleased based on what I have read in your Executive Summary with the painstaking thoroughness of your preliminary report.
“I have noted the salient points of your report and these will be incorporated in government economic policies.”
The President also spoke about the challenges facing the economy and the tasks that rest on the shoulders of the members.
According to him, the economy is the most delicate and sensitive of all aspects of national life and a little change in the matrix can lead to major disruptions in the nation’s economy.
“For example, international changes in oil prices, bad harvests, conflicts in strategic global locations, a major epidemic or pandemic like the current coronavirus, tariff changes in major world economies, to mention only a few examples that readily come to mind, can significantly affect our plans,” President Buhari noted.
He also asked the EAC should now brief him more frequently, at least once every six weeks rather than once every quarter.
The President thanked the members for their patriotism and commitment in accepting the challenging responsibilities conferred on them.
In addition to Professor Salami, the Council has Dr Mohammed Sagagi as vice-chairman six economic experts as members.
They are Professor Ode Ojowu, Dr Shehu Yahaya, Dr Iyabo Masha, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, Dr Bismack Rewane, and Dr Mohammed Salisu.
The two ministers in the Ministry of Finance also serve as co-opted members.
Europe and North America have absorbed the largest share of the world’s 272 million migrants, a population that has grown by 23 percent over the past decade, according to a UN report published Tuesday.
The report found that there were 82 million migrants living in Europe and 59 million in North America in 2019, followed by northern Africa and western Asia with 49 million each.
There were 51 million more migrants in the world in 2019 than in 2010, a 23 percent increase, according to the report prepared by the population division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
It said migrants account for 3.5 percent of the world’s population today, compared with 2.8 percent in 2000.
The report said the estimates were based on official national statistics on the foreign-born or the foreign population obtained from population censuses, population registers or nationally representative surveys.
“These data are critical for understanding the important role of migrants and migration in the development of both countries of origin and destination,” said Liu Zhenmin, UN under-secretary-general for Economic and Social Affairs.
He said “orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people” were important in fostering sustainable development.
The UN‘s country-by-country analysis shows that half the world’s 272 million migrants live in just 10 countries, with the United States in first place with 51 million.
Germany and Saudi Arabia were next with 13 million each, followed by Russia (12 million), Britain (10 million), United Arab Emirates (nine million), France, Canada, Australia (eight million each) and Italy (six million).
In terms of countries of origin, India was first with 18 million nationals living in other countries, followed by Mexico (12 million), China (11 million), Russia (10 million) and Syria (eight million), according to the report.
The Kaduna State Government has launched the Residency Card Registration programme to register all citizens residing in the state.
According to the government, the programme which is being implemented in collaboration with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is aimed at enabling the state government capture biometric data of all people residing in the state, after which they will be given a unique identification number and card.
While launching the programme at Rigasa community in Igabi Local Government Area of the state, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, explained that the residency card for all citizens will help the government in knowing the population of the state and consequently, help in providing concise data for development planning and security in the state.
He said successive governments have over the years failed to use accurate data in planning, noting that it had led to guesswork and inaccurate data.
“The overcrowded school in Rigasa made national headlines after we revealed its existence. But how did one primary school in Rigasa come about having more than 20,000 pupils.
“Three Mobile Enrolment Buses are also shuttling within Kaduna Metropolis, bringing the registration process to the elderly and persons living with physical disabilities.
“The ultimate goal is to ensure ease of access by scaling up the registration centres to 255 with one in each ward of our 23 Local Governments,” he said.
Furthermore, the governor said that in the near future, no citizen will enjoy some of the free or subsidized social services like basic education, healthcare or be considered for things like land allocation unless he or she can provide a Kaduna State Residents Card.
The Director-General, National Identity Management Committee, Aliyu Azeez, also enumerated the importance of data for national development.
He said the agency has captured 30.6 million Nigerians in its database, with Kaduna topping the list.
While the programme requires all residents, including the newly born to be registered, the Kaduna State Residency card will only be issued to those who are 16 years and above.
Azeez, however, stated that in the next three years, the agency also plans to have captured every Nigerian residing in the country.
A member of the Adjunct Faculty of the Lagos Business School, Mr Doyin Salami, has expressed concern over Nigeria’s population not growing in conformity with the economy.
Salami made this known in Lagos during the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) public presentation of the maritime forecast for 2018/2019.
“We are coming out of a recession, but the fragility of the Nigerian economy cannot be understated,” he said on Tuesday.
According to him, the newly released figures of the economic growth for last year compared very favourably with 2016’s report of the economy shrinking.
His comments come shortly after the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released the statistics of the economic growth for last year.
In 2017, the Nigerian economy grew at 0.83 percent in GDP is an improvement over the contraction of -1.58 percent which the economy recorded in 2016 during the period of recession.
While many Nigerians rejoiced over the nation’s exit from recession, Salami perhaps thinks otherwise.
He strongly believes that the citizens should really be worried at the population growing astronomically not in relation to the economy.
Salami added, “If our population is growing at anything between two and a half and 2.8 percent, then 0.8 percent growth in output, representing an improvement as it does, nonetheless shows the gap that we must fill.
“For us, once the economy continues to improve there are a couple of things that we must also put on the table. The challenge of inflation remains, beyond that the challenge of unemployment also remains.”
While the election is a year away from now, Salami wants stakeholders in the economy to address the challenges facing the nation’s economy.