By: BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Federal Commissioner of the National Population Commission (NPC), in Oyo State, Mr. Tayo Oyetunji on Wednesday hinted that only the federal government can determine when the next population census exercise would be conducted in Nigeria.
Mr Oyetunji dropped this hint in Ibadan while speaking with newsmen at the 2018 World Population Day program organized by NPC in collaboration with Nigerian Urban Reproductive Heath Initiative (NURHI), Association for Reproductive and Family Heath (ARFH), Society for Family Health (SFH) and National Orientation Agency (NOA).
The NPC Federal Commissioner declared that as at present, the commission was ready to conduct another census anytime that the Nigerian government is ready.
“Only the government can decide what time to conduct another population census, ours is to make ourselves ready, but the time, what time, that question of when and what time can be appropriately answered by the government”. he said.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s World Population Day, “Family planning as a human right”, the NPC Federal Commissioner said the commission over the years has trained and re-trained its personnel as parts of efforts to have a well acceptable results.
According to Mr Oyetunji, government can mandate NPC to conduct another population census anytime but, that would be done when all the necessary materials have been provided to the commission by the government, saying, “the National Population Commission (NPC) is ever ready to conduct another population census. We have over the years developed capacity to do so. We have all that is takes to do so, however, we have so many other issues.
NURHI Team Leader in Oyo State, Mrs. Stella Akinso while speaking with newsmen emphasized that every woman has a right to determine when and the number of children she wants to have contrary to insinuations, that no woman should be force or cohere to take up any family planning method.
Mrs Alonso stressed that each woman has a right to choose for herself when, the time and when she was ready to access any family planning method.
“Every woman has right to family planning unhindered and in accessing family planning, no woman should be coherse in taking a method or force to do family planning. What we are saying is that every woman should decide when and whether they want pregnancy and the time and spacing of their births and that is what we are saying. We are bringing that consciousness to the people that people have the right to access family planning and that the state and policy makers should ensure that contraceptives, commodities are free and that service providers are trained to be able to provide the services. The service should be free. So, that is the message for this year”.
The 2018 World Population Day was attended by the Oyo State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Social Welfare, Community Development and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Atinuke Osunkoya and NOA State Director, Mrs Dolapo Dosumu.