President Goodluck Jonathan has said that Nigeria will spend $8,350,000 annually over the next four years making a total of $33,400,000 on issues bordering on family planning with a view to reducing the country’s currently unacceptably high maternal and child mortality rates.
Jonathan, who was represented by the Minister of State for Health, Dr Mohammed Ali Pate, stated this at a family planning summit which took place in London, on Wednesday.
According to him, the new arrangement was aside current annual commitment of $3 million for the procurement of reproductive health commodities.
“We are committed to increasing the awareness and demand for family planning and reproductive health services by women regardless of their socio-economic status. In our quest to save one million lives in Nigeria by 2015, we consider all lives have equal value,” he said
He added: “We are focused to save the lives of mothers and children from preventable causes and consider family planning a life-saving intervention. This effort is important for our country to reap its demographic dividend in the years to come.”
He said the Federal Government of Nigeria remained fully committed to meeting unmet needs for reproductive health services and commodities, including family planning, saying this would be done in an integrated, collaborative manner.
“We recognise that in Nigeria, the average total fertility for uneducated women is more than twice that of women who have had above secondary education. Thus, girl-child education remains an important area of focus to improve reproductive health and reduce maternal and child mortality.”
by Muda Oyeniran, Lagos