TCI urges Nigerians to adopt family planning for sustainable development

By Mosunmola Ayobami, Ilorin

The Challenge Initiative (TCI) has urged Nigerians to adopt family planning and child spacing as essential strategies for sustainable development.

In a statement released on Wednesday and signed by Dr. Taiwo Johnson, the country team lead at TCI, the organization emphasized the need for Nigeria to invest in inclusive, equitable, and transparent data collection processes.

The statement, made available to Western Post in Ilorin, stressed that such investments would help build resilient systems reflecting the diverse experiences of all Nigerians, asserting that it would lead to a prosperous future where everyone enjoys their rights and choices.

Aligned with the theme of this year’s World Population Day, “Embracing the Power of Inclusive Data Towards a Resilient and Equitable Future for All,” TCI highlighted the urgent need for comprehensive family planning and childbirth spacing programs to tackle Nigeria’s rapid population growth.

The theme highlights the crucial role of inclusive data in promoting sustainable development and ensuring access to resources and opportunities for all Nigerians.

“Thirty years ago, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) underscored the importance of placing people at the center of development,” the statement read.

It noted also that this milestone has led to significant advancements in reproductive health care, reductions in maternal mortality, and improvements in gender equality, as it disclosed that strategic data use has been a key driver of these achievements.

According to TCI, since 1994, initiatives like the UN Secretary-General’s call for a ‘data revolution’ have enhanced countries’ abilities to collect and analyze data critical for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, it pointed out that gaps remain, particularly for marginalized communities.

TCI reiterated the fact that Nigeria faces significant challenges due to rapid population growth, which exacerbates poverty, strains healthcare systems, and hinders sustainable development.

With the current population exceeding 200 million and projections indicating continued growth, TCI emphasized that embracing inclusive and comprehensive data collection and analysis is critical for effective family planning.

This approach, it noted, is essential to manage demographic trends and ensure resources are adequately allocated to improve the quality of life for all Nigerians.

In further remarks, Dr. Johnson noted that the 2024 World Population Day offers a pivotal moment for the country to reflect on its challenges and recognize the importance of family planning and childbirth spacing to address unique demographic needs, especially in urban, peri-urban, rural, and underserved areas.

“Comprehensive data collection and analysis are vital for informed planning and service delivery. This is essential for all states to meet the needs of the populace and deliver the ‘dividends’ of democracy, which have eluded Nigerians since the inception of democratic governance in 1999,” the statement continued.

TCI’s efforts in 23 states across Nigeria have yielded positive results, supporting government initiatives in sexual and reproductive health over the past 30 years through improved data collection and analysis.

The statement concluded by stressing the importance of prioritizing investments in population data systems to ensure safe and inclusive data collection.

The organization noted too that new data tools can highlight hidden issues but must be managed carefully to avoid biases and privacy risks.

In conclusion, TCI adduced that for sustainability and enhanced resilience, Nigeria must sustain current progress and ensure inclusive programming to accommodate marginalized communities excluded from advancements and address growing inequalities in healthcare access.

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