An Inter-Governmental Organisation , Partners in Population and Development which is an initiative partnerships among the governments made up of members from 26 developing countries, on Friday canvassed the need for an augment in women and girls in Nigeria as well as other foreign countries.
Dr. Abubakar Suleiman,who is the Minister/Deputy Chairman of National Planning Commission hinted at the event that the PPD’s resolution was impelled by the fact that the right assets in girls and women would pilot to more industrious worlds.
In his keynote address, at the 20th anniversary celebration of the PPD in Abuja, Suleiman disclosed that the growth of the member countries of the organisation had helped reduce poverty and had enhanced opportunities for women in public participation.
He said, “The PPD emphasises the value of investing in women and girls, and also affirms the importance of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. The Cairo declaration in 1994 upholds the fact that when women and girls get the education they deserve, societies are more productive.
“When their rights are protected, societies are more just, and when they are empowered to determine their own future, societies become stronger.”
Sulaiman noted that the membership of the PPD since it came into being two decades ago had grown from the initial 10 to the current 26 countries.
According to the minister, the inclusive economic growth witnessed in recent years had led to impressive poverty reduction in many partner countries.
The Resident Coordinator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nigeria, Mr. Dauda Toure also said the UN is committed to promoting demographic dividends in Nigeria by supporting the implementation of policies and programmes of government for sustainable development.
He said UNFPA has been providing technical and financial assistance to the NPC for Partners in Population Development (PPD) initiative in the coordination and monitoring of its programme of assistance to the federal government.
The resident coordinator commended the effort of government in implementing the 2004 national policy on population for sustainable development, while stressing the need for more synergy between the population policy and existing sectoral policy which he said cannot be over emphasised.
“This is why the UN is committed to promoting demographic dividends in the country, to harness the importance of population dynamics, the UN has supported national and regional seminar on demographic dividends in partnership with federal and states government.
“We will intensify our effort and support and to implement policies and programmes that will create enabling environment for the country to harness demographic dividends for sustainable development,” he added.
Toure stressed the need for effective and inter-sectoral collaboration on population, health, education and economic initiative to leverage resources intervention on population and developmental programmes for sustainable development.
Adding that, “as the country celebrate PPD at twenty, the UN would continue to support and strengthen the NPC for implementation of south-south cooperation to assist effort towards achieving the vision of 2020.”
Earlier, the Director General, National Population commission (NPC), Dr. Ghaji Bello said the policy dialogue would be seen to have achieved furthermore if it stimulates the processes and harnessing the demographic data capable of assisting in the achievement of demographic goals.
He noted that NPC would provide the necessary data that would fast track the integration of maternal health and population dynamics into the national development framework as contained in the transformational agenda to harness the demographic dividends.
Bello stated that the commission plans to conduct an accurate and reliable technology driven population and housing census in 2016, while soliciting for the cooperation and support of stakeholders to conduct a decent census for the sake of a planned and prosperous Nigeria.