Rising fertility rates and rapid population growth continue to pose challenges to Nigeria’s infrastructure and future availability of resources. RAPID, an evidence-based advocacy tool developed by HP+, projects the consequences of high fertility and rapid population growth on health, education, agriculture, and the economy, and the potential impact of family planning and child spacing On September 13th 2017, H.E. Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State announced the launch of the first Bauchi RAPID. The launch represents the first RAPID among the three states HP+ is currently supporting. In his remarks, Abubakar noted that, “Bauchi state has consistently allocated 16 percent of its annual budget to health since 2016 according to the 2001 Abuja Declaration.” Yet, while meeting the Abuja spending targets is a positive step, the RAPID application highlighted additional steps the state could take to lessen the impacts of rapid population growth.
Key recommendations from the Bauchi RAPID include:
- Bauchi state’s family planning program needs adequate political support. High-level government officials in Bauchi should demonstrate their support for efforts to reduce population growth.
- Decision-makers in Bauchi should encourage both government and nongovernmental organizations to collaborate on delivering family planning programs.
- Increased access to family planning information, services, and methods is essential. Providing high-quality family planning services, commodities to support those services, and communication and messaging around family planning all require financial resources. It is critical that sufficient funds are provided to support these efforts.
HP+ country director Onoriode Ezire highlighted the high growth rate of the Bauchi State populace as a result of high fertility rates, noting that the state government will have to implement adequate policies related to health, education, and employment to support a growing population with already high numbers of unemployed youth and dependents. At the launch event, Abubakr insisted that Bauchi state “will implement the recommendations of the Bauchi RAPID for the good of the people of Bauchi State.”
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (local news)