Nigeria’s rising population a security threat says MeCAM
LAGOS – Nigeria must multiply its efforts to strengthen the economy and provide all the necessary social and physical infrastructure to keep up with the country’s explosive population growth, the Media Centre Against Child Malnutrition (MeCAM) has said.
MeCAM is a media advocacy group against child malnutrition and determines to strengthen the agro-nutrition capacity and interest of its members professionally in contribution to nation-building, for emancipation from extreme hunger especially in children, women and society, centred on Goal 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
MeCAM National Coordinator, Remmy Nweke said in a press statement commemorating the World Population Day that Nigeria’s estimated 192m population is not sustainable and may well worsen its security challenges and leave more children malnourished, unless it is matched by commensurate economic growth and infrastructure.
“Such infrastructure must include affordable and accessible medical facilities that would not only boost public health but will offer all the assistance for family planning to check unwanted pregnancy and keep population in check as well as have healthy children,” according to the statement.
“Overpopulation begets insecurity especially on food and put pressure on family fiscal economy, could lead to school dropouts, and lack of money for balance diet which is key to effective breastfeeding by mothers.
“Importantly, MECAM urges the government to make life more abundant for the people by working on all the fundamentals of the economy that would support its population. Also, we call on the governments to double their efforts on education, health care and access to other basic needs so that the rising population would be an asset instead of liabilities and source of security threats.”
Commemorated every July 11, the World Population Day was established by the then-Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989, an outgrowth of the interest generated by the Day of Five Billion, which was observed on 11 July 1987. The objective is to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues. This year’s commemoration was themed “Family Planning is a Human Right”.