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Fertility decline imperative for achieving demographic dividend – Don



Fertility decline imperative for achieving demographic dividend – Don

Fertility decline has been described as “very imperative’’ if Nigeria must achieve a balanced productive ratio, otherwise called demographic dividend.

Prof. Olanrewaju Olaniyan, of the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan, said this at the 7th Annual Population Lecture Series (APLS), held on Tuesday, in Abuja.

The lecture had as theme: “Nigeria’s Population Issues: Harnessing 21st Century Innovations to achieve Demographic Dividend”.

Olaniyan said that only innovations in reproductive health would ensure that men and women were able to take responsibility for the quantity and quality of children they brought into the world.

He explained that building human capital was also paramount in ensuring that children, and the rest of the population, had access to universal health care, as well as equality and relevant education for all.

The don, who said that only 26 per cent of Nigerians were working, called for good governance and elimination of corruption to achieve demographic dividend.

He identified urbanisation as one of the problems militating against the achievement of demographic dividend, saying that it often ended up creating two cities in one city.

“Mass emigration from rural areas to urban areas, has created a city of prosperity and poverty in one city,” he said.

Olaniyan who pointed out that about 14.6 million Nigerians were out of school, called for drastic and innovative policies on the part of government, to address the issue by transforming children into an asset population.

Also speaking, Dr Haliru Yahaya, Emir of Shonga, called for responsible parenthood as a way to go in achieving demographic dividend.

Yahaya explained that it was wrong for a man to procreate up to 14 children that he could not cater for.

Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore

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