Nigeria’s capacity to tap demographic dividend hangs on quality education, strong policy – experts

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For Nigeria to reap the benefits of demographic dividend, population experts say that the country must provide quality education for its young people, strong policy and ensure reduction in its maternal and infant mortality rates.
The experts spoke at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) at 50 High Impact Private Sector Summit held in Lagos, Tuesday.
“For Nigeria to benefit from demographic dividend, we need to have a significant reduction in maternal and infant mortality, improvement in the quality of education for our young people to have the skills to deliver and provide good policies to promote the growth of the private sector,” Eugene Kongnyuy, acting resident representative, UNFPA Nigeria, said.

“We need to have more working age people, and when this happens, the country will begin to reap demography dividend,” Kongnyuy said.
He defined demographic dividend as a long-term economic and population policy that ensured that the population of any nation was structured and in line with policies that create more working age people in its society.
He noted that since Nigeria launched its demographic dividend in 2017, the country was yet to record any benefit from it, saying the move had shifted government’s focus on young people and also created interventions in health and education.
He urged the government to do more in health and education so that the country could begin to experience the benefits of demographic dividend.

Speaking also, Isaiah Owolabi, director of Hacey Health Initiatives, called on the government to see demographic dividend as a major opportunity for the country owing to its large youth population size, while urging them to take advantage of it by investing in young people for a life-time economic returns.
“Statistics and facts have shown that when a country invests in young people there … Read More...