President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that his administration will look into the 12-point recommendations by graduates of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) on Population Growth and Human Capital Development in Nigeria, with view of implementing them.
The President gave the assurance at the graduation ceremony of the Senior Executive Course 42, held Saturday at the Institute in Jos.
The President, represented by Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, charged the graduates to live up to expectations of leading Nigeria out of its problems.
“The times levy a demand on institutions such as this one and on its graduates for innovation and creative intelligence in addressing our national challenges.
“It is my conviction that the elites both individually and collectively have a responsibility and an obligation to society to plan it, organize it, order or reorder it and above all to make sacrifices for it, for the maximum benefit of all”, he said.
The Director-General of the Institute, Professor Habu Galadima, said that Nigeria is currently in a demographic crisis, characterized by a phenomenally high rate of out of school children; youth bulge in the population pyramid; high dependency ratio; as well as high unemployment all driven by high population growth rates.
He said the demographic crisis is contributing to intensified conflicts over resources, to the nation’s growing insecurity, violence and youth restiveness.
‘’Nigeria’s population is growing at 3.2 per cent every year, which translates to an additional 6.7 million persons annually, making it one of the highest in the world.
“As at 2019, 86.7 per cent of Nigerians depend on others to survive, meaning that only 27.9 million people out of about 210 million are productive”, he said.
Prof. Galadima said participants accorded particular attention to the health sector, regarding Covid-19 pandemic at the period of research.
“They also noted that 132 out of every 1,000 children born in Nigeria are not likely to live up to five years and that Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate is one of the highest in the world”, he said.
The Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Gabriel Olanishakin, urged the graduates to exhibit the highest professionalism in promoting excellence in Nigeria.
He assured that the NIPSS board will continue to support the institute to produce qualitative policies that will lead to a better Nigeria.