By Ibrahim Ramalan
The Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC) Chief Eze Duruiheoma has appealed to the private sector to invest heavily on creation of decent and productive jobs.
He also urged the sector to absorb the large proportion of working age population, saying that government alone cannot provide employment for all Nigerians.
Duruiheoma, who stated this while briefing journalists on the forthcoming 5th Annual Population Lecture Series (APLS 2017), said current population of young persons in the country presents an opportunity for accelerated economic growth, provided the necessary investments are made.
He said: “We need a slim government. Gone should be the days when everybody should be looking on to the government for employment. Government should only guarantee the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive, it is earnestly doing.”
Speaking on the theme of this year’s lecture holding today in Abuja:“Achieving Demographic Dividend: Strategic Tool for National Economic Recovery and Sustainable Development,” the chairman said it is in tandem with the current concerted efforts by the Federal Government to revamp the nation’s economy.
Duruiheoma described demographic dividend as the accelerated economic growth that may result from a decline in a country’s mortality and fertility and the subsequent change in the age structure of the population.
According to him, the Federal Government has done a lot in recent time to enable the nation achieve good demographic dividends.
“Programmes being pursued under these bold initiatives such as the N-Power, Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer and the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme will lay a solid foundation for reaping the immense benefits of demographic dividends,.” He said.
Blueprint reports that the Annual Population Lecture Series was initiated and organized by the Commission in the late 1990s. The early series of the APLS were run for three consecutive years which focused on topical issues relating to Nigeria’s population.