A professor from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Ganiyat Adesina-Utman, has called on the federal government to devise an appropriate population policy to address the country’s high population rate.
Adesina-Utman, professor of economics, said this during the 19th inaugural lecture of the University of Abuja on the theme: “What does finance have to do with it?
According to her, no nation talks about economic planning for sustainable development without the facts and figures of its population, which requires funding.
“The debate on population and economic development has always remained relevant in the scheme of things when it comes to national issues. When we assessed secondary data to examine Nigeria’s population policy in 2004, the study found that the target of reducing the population growth rate to 2% or less by 2015 was not achieved.
“A reduction in the total fertility rate to at least 0.6 children every five years was achieved during two periods in 2008 and 2010.
“By achieving a Universal Basic Education (UBE) plan, before 2015, Nigeria was not able to achieve a sustainable UBE until 2015.
“Nor has it been able to eliminate the gap between male and female enrollment in secondary schools, tertiary institutions and for vocational/technical training.
“The study indicates that the gaps have rather widened over the period,” she said.
The donation therefore called for a policy that would ensure the implementation of a birth spacing program to address the high population growth rate as well as reduce infant, child and maternal mortality.
She added that poverty reduction, equality, financial inclusion, insurance and rural finance, among others, could be better achieved through alternative financing.
She then recommended an Islamic economic system instead of the capitalist economic system, saying that “capitalism doesn’t work; we’ve tried everything from process and revenue policies to several varieties of monetary goals and we’ve come to a tricky end.
In his remarks, NOUN Vice-Chancellor Professor Olufemi Peters said the lecture was a custom at the institution, where an academic is called to account for his management.