The United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) resident representative in Nigeria, Ulla Mueller, has called on the Nigerian government to invest heavily in family planning and control the population growth of the country.

Mrs Mueller made this call while speaking at a breakout session at the Lagos Economic Summit, Ehingbeti 2021, on Wednesday.

Speaking on the topic, ‘Equality for All: The Role of Youths and Women,’ the UNPFA representative said Lagos State needs to make policies that are beneficial to the youths and women in the society.

The speaker said girls and women in Nigeria must be encouraged to release their potential into the society and one of the ways to achieve this is through effective family planning in which women and girls can concentrate on exploring their potential.

“In Nigeria population growth is higher than economic growth. There is a very high number of people and with this reality, poverty is going to be increasing.

“I advocate that the Lagos state government should invest heavily in family planning, allow women and girls to make their own choices, finish their education,” she said.

Mrs Mueller further said that youth policy must be included in different departments and agencies to ensure that there is a roadmap and an obligation to cater for the interest of young people.

She added that the government must actively shift economic dependence by youth by giving them adequate educational and vocational development as there is a link between youth and poverty alleviation in every country.

Another speaker at the session, Hafsat Abiola, the President of Women in Africa Initiative, said the government must begin to empower women and youth to have equality for all.

“Social justice is important for women and youths and opportunities should be made available to them. Youths and women must be part of the economic system, it is important,” she said.

She added that equal access must be given to young people and women in terms of education, skill acquisition, technology and other aspects of the economy.

“Technology is driving today’s world and youth and women should be made to be part of it,” she said.

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