The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), in partnership with Population Matters, a UK based charity, and with the support of the Lagos State Government, commemorated the World Population Day on Thursday, 11th July 2019 at Lekki Conservation Centre.
This maiden edition hosted by the foundation themed Population and sustainability in Nigeria and beyond had on, discuss topics such as population growth and environmental sustainability; overpopulation in the developed world and a global approach; health implication of increasing human population in Nigeria and impact of increasing human population on Lagos environment and possible solution.
Some the causes of overpopulation the experts talked about are; Poverty (believed to be the leading cause of overpopulation), illiteracy, lack of family planning, increased birth rates and low mortality rates, male child preference, early marriage, and child brides, immigration, traditions and culture influence, and religious beliefs.
The keynote speaker, Barrister Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin, Honourable Commissioner, National Population Commission (NPopC), who was represented by Mrs. Simiat Lawal, Deputy Director, NPopC Lagos observed that overpopulation affect human health especially the vulnerables.
She stated that “It is my expectation that all stakeholders will continue to work together and harder to achieve the noble objectives of making life worth living for the vulnerable population in emergencies. Any concerted effort in support of the vulnerable population, who are disadvantaged today, is a good investment for the prosperity of the present and future generations. It is the responsibility we owe this great nation,”
Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano, Director General of NCF in his presentation explained that “the nation’s population was growing but natural resources were shrinking due to human activities.” If Nigerians fail to rise and do what is necessary, the looming disaster can’t be contained.
Mr. Robin Maynard, Director, Population Matters revealed that population growth can be controlled and reversed through positive action such as education, female empowerment, family planning, ending poverty and encouraging smaller families.
Mr. Abiodun Bamgboye, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of the Environment highlighted the efforts of the State Government in making the state habitable for residents and the need for citizens to partner with the government in order to control the geometric population growth.
Mrs. Temitope Okunnu, CEO of Foundation for a Better Environment (FABE) in her presentation said “People must compete for limited resources like food and water for survival. Instances where there is none, they are forced to make do with what is available. For example, in Mokoloki, an area Ogun State, residents are forced to conserve rainwater in preparation for the dry season because that area lacks fresh water supply. The condition of storage is so poor that people suffer from cholera, typhoid, and other water related diseases. Diseases, malnutrition and food insecurities have moved people from Mokoloki to Lagos in search of better work, school, food, and a better standard of living thereby competing with already limited resources in Lagos and adding to her population.”
The event had in attendance Mrs. Flora Adamma Oni, Director Tourism, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism & Culture; representatives of corporate organisations; NCF Life Fellows, students and lecturers of tertiary institutions and other stakeholders.