Nigeria risks population explosion, teenage pregnancies — Commissioner


The Kaduna State Commissioner for Planning and Budget, Umma Yusuf Aboki, has warned that Nigeria risks population explosion, high maternal mortality rate, teenage pregnancies and obstetric fistula, as a result of sharp reduction in the funding of the Family Planning (FP) Basket Fund.

Aboki said that the nation’s dependence on donor funding for planning was no longer sustainable. He, however, stated that Kaduna State under Governor Nasir el-Rufai would begin procurement of the FP commodities to compliment Federal Government’s efforts

Speaking at the State Level Dissemination of National Guidelines for State-funded Procurement of FP Commodities, the Commissioner said: “The risk of a widening funding gap remains high for FP Basket Fund. This is due to the dependent nature on donor funding, which is becoming unsustainable.

“This assertion poses a potential threat to the state and country at large, in terms of population explosion, where birth rate is uncontrolled, high maternal mortality rate, teenage pregnancies and obstetric fistula. Thus, the state government has expressed its willingness and readiness to begin procurement of the FP commodities to compliment national efforts.”

Meanwhile, Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital Kaduna (BDTH) has acquired telemedicine machine for virtual treatment of patients in Birnin-Gwari Local Council and other hard-to-reach areas in the state ravaged by insecurity.

Continuing, the commissioner said the yearly funding gap analysis from 2016 to 2022 has shown variance between funding requirement and funding commitment leading to a huge funding gap. In 2016, the funding requirement was $19.6m and the funding commitment was $7m, which created a funding gap of $12.6m. The year 2022 has the highest funding requirement of $35.6m and the highest financial gap of $29.7m. The total funding requirement from 2016 to 2022 is $171.9m and total financial gap is $ 203.09m.

“This singular effort led to the development of the national guidelines to guide states that also wish to toe the line. And today, we are here to unveil the document that was developed with the participation of key stakeholders and support from UNFP.”

She explained that the national guidelines were developed to guide states that have expressed willingness to begin state level procurement of family planning commodities that would help address the incessant stock out of the commodities.

“You may be aware that the FP commodities have always been procured centrally through the National Contraceptives Basket Fund, which was established in 2011 for the procurement of contraceptives with the support from donor agencies and UNFPA as the procurement agent. However, Nigeria faces uncertainty on the sustainability. This uncertainty is largely attributed to the dwindling financial resources, donor fatigue, untimely and often incomplete release of Federal Government Counterpart Funding,” Aboki said.(The Guardian)