By: RALPH OKHIRIA, Benin City
The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called on world leaders to take decisive actions to ensure development efforts meet and surpass the pace of population growth, to reduce inequality and engender inclusive growth across the world.
Obaseki, who stated this in commemoration of the World Population Day, marked every July 11, noted that growing population shouldn’t be seen as a curse, but a challenge for developing countries to articulate innovative pathways that will drive inclusive and sustainable development.
According to him, “The World Population Day reminds us of the need to be circumspect in a number of policy issues, especially as it affects population growth and its implications for economic development and social cohesion.
“On a day like this, it is imperative to make the case for planned parenthood and family planning so as to ensure that the world’s population doesn’t become untameable”, he said.
Noting that this year’s theme for the day, Family Planning is Human Right, makes it imperative for families to determine the size and spacing of their children, he said it behoves government to provide structures for individuals to dream and actualise their dreams.
“Due to its economic implications, growing population has been a double blessing for developing countries, such that many are still grappling to articulate policies to manage the growth and the attendant socio-political as well as economic fallouts of a bulging population.
“However, we cannot wish away the import of human life. Hence, even as the debate and policy actions are tweaked to contain population growth, governments and world leaders should take critical actions to ensure that development meets needs of people, in such a way that they would be assured of support structures to carve out their destinies and live happy, fulfilled lives,” Governor Obaseki added.
The governor disclosed that the state government has undertaken a number of development initiatives to help in delivery of affordable, accessible healthcare, quality basic education and expand the space for wealth creation so as to deepen inclusive growth and development.
He further stated that the state government will not relent in its efforts in industrialising the state, attracting investments to open up new vistas for economic expansion and deepen reforms to ensure that people have opportunities to express themselves and earn decent wages.