The Department for International Development (DFID) can work most effectively to support the Nigerian government in reducing poverty and ensuring sustainable and inclusive growth by facilitating increases in access to, and use of, family planning services in Nigeria.
This is the conclusion of Population Matters’ recent submission to the House of Commons International Development Committee inquiry on DFID’s programme in Nigeria. The submission highlights the devastating impact that Nigeria’s projected increase in population levels could have on development.
The UN predicts that Nigeria’s population size will increase from its current level by 120 million people to 400 million by 2050 and 700 million by 2100. This growth has serious implications for service provision, women’s empowerment, economic growth, poverty reduction, conflict, carbon emissions, environmental degradation and overall welfare.
Access to family planning services is therefore critical to improving lives in Nigeria because of its effect in reducing population growth.
Thus the most effective way that DFID can help facilitate development in Nigeria is to prioritise increasing access to family planning services. The sooner Nigeria increases access to, and use of, family planning, the greater the benefits will be to the Nigerian economy, environment and people.