Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The federal government would embark on a comprehensiveÂ review of the current population policy, even as it stressed the need for robust population management policies.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, disclosed that his ministry was collaboratiing with the Ministry of Health to carry out a comprehensive review of the current population policy and would require the support of the National Assembly for effective implementation.
A statement issued by the ministerâ€™s Special Adviser (Media), Mr. Akpandem James, said
Udoma spoke at an interactive session at the ongoing Parliamentary Open Week, which kicked off at the National Assembly in AbujaÂ last Monday.
He told the lawmakers that population management was one of the 60 key programmes set out in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) as a strategic initiative to ensure that the gains of government economic policies are felt by the citizens.
â€œThis was in realisation that unless something urgent was done about the countryâ€™s rate of population growth, it would be difficult for the people to feel the full impact of the GDP growth; which is why whilst seeking to grow the economy, government is at the same time seeking to manage the rate of population growth,â€ the minister said.
The review would also entail benchmarking initiatives undertaken by other countries with high levels of population.
He pointed out that with an estimated population of 198 million people and a projected growth rate of 3.2 per cent yearly, Nigeriaâ€™s population would be more than 289 million by 2050 and the fourth largest in the world.
â€œTherefore, it is imperative that we introduce measures to bring down the growth rate to less than two per cent,â€ he stated.