Posted by News Express | 20 July 2020 | 575 times
By CHARLES IWUOHA
The Amaka Chiwuike-Uba Foundation (ACUF) has urged the government at all levels to take action in addressing the findings of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and Nigeria Living Standards Survey (NLSS) report for 2018/2019.
The Chairman, Board of ACUF, Dr Chiwuike Uba, made the call in statement on Sunday in Enugu while reacting to the recently released NBS/NLSS Report for 2018/2019.
Uba, a development economist, said that the country needed to have concerted and collective long-term national and sub-national policy and plan to harness the over 100 million youths below the age of 20 for national development and productivity.
He said that the governments should act on the NBS NLSS report to arrest the growing insecurity, poverty, and other issues being faced by Nigerians as the future looks bleak should the government decide to watch the situation degenerate.
He regretted that there is no real coordination and cooperation among the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs); among various levels of governments and executive, legislative and judiciary to implement research findings from NBS NLSS all these years.
The statement reads in part: “The highlights of the report threw up a lot of questions than answers to the existing political and socio-economic challenges and dilemmas the country is facing. The NLSS report indicates that Nigeria has a large base of young population with over 100 million youths below the age of 20.
“Specifically, the report confirms that more than 54 percent of all males and more than 51 percent of all females are younger than 20 years of age. This staggering population has an implication for security and national development. Unemployment and poverty headcount rates are on the increase with its attendant implications on national security. Despite the reality on the ground, the government gives less attention to education, job creation, and youth development.
“We need to have a long-term national and sub-national policy and plan to harness the over 100 million youths below the age of 20 for national development and productivity. We are already facing an increase in insecurity as evidenced in the crime rates – suicide bombers, terrorism, rape, and sexual assault, kidnapping, among others.
“If nothing is done to address the increasing youth population and its attendant implications to national development, we would face more problems in the nearest future.”
Uba, however, urged policy makers to make the country's planning process and budgets to be gender-sensitive, since there are a higher number of women in Nigeria, in-order to promote inclusive and sustainable growth of all segments of the population.
He noted that in the NLSS report, the share of males and females in the total population is roughly equal: 49.2 and 50.8 per cent respectively.
The board chairman said: “It also revealed that, on average, 18.8 per cent of households in Nigeria are headed by female household members, with the highest in Ebonyi State with 36.0 per cent.
“In addition, the share of females, among those older than 12 years of age, in monogamous marriage is 41.9 per cent versus 36.7 per cent for males and the share of males and females in a polygamous marriage is roughly equal at around 9.9 and 9.6 per cent respectively.
“Undoubtedly, Nigeria claims to be the mainstream gender in our economic planning and budgeting; but, the reality has shown that little or no effort has been made in this regard.
“Our plans, budgets, public buildings, and other infrastructures do not reflect gender dimensions and sensitivity. More importantly, the ideal is to include all stakeholders in the planning process and this is currently not happening.”
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