A coalition of civil society organizations have called on government to ensure adequate funding and prioritization of family planning in Nigeria, saying investment in it was key to national development.
The CSOs under the aegis of Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale however took note of the launching of the National Family Planning Blueprint (2020-24), launching of the RMNCAEH+N multi-stakeholders’ coordination platform, and the FP2030 recommitment process to support the coordination and eﬀective delivery of family planning.
The organizations made the recommendation in a communique issued after their inaugural meeting of during the inaugural meeting of the champions and advocacy CSOs in Abuja signed by Dr. Ejike Orji and obtained by The PUNCH in Abuja on Sunday in commemoration of World Contraception Day.
The communique read, “Stakeholders collaboration is necessary for Nigeria. In Nigeria, World Contraception Day 2021 comes at a time when the Federal Government of Nigeria and many state governments have signalled their commitment to increase modern family planning services delivery for women and men of reproductive age in the country.
“As CSOs in Nigeria, we are committed to improving child and family health in Nigeria. We believe that access to modern contraceptives gives families a chance to practice healthy timing between births; reduces the risk to the mother; contributes to the survival of living children; and the health of the nation.
“Child spacing will increase economic participation of women, mother lives, child survives. If we do not plan for the future, we would have a place on the table of the future. Family planning is the most important tool to deliberately plan for the future, if we want a prosperous one.
“However, the Nigerian government committed to a 27 per cent modern contraceptive prevalence by 2020. To date, the rate is only 12 per cent. A key reason for not meeting this national target is the inadequacy of FP ﬁnancing.
“Year after year, the Federal and State governments allocate funds in annual budgets for contraceptive procurement; logistics, provider training and for service provider task shifting and sharing.
“Year after year, funds allocated are either not released, released late, or not in alignment with costed implementation plans.
“If government increase funding at all tiers, timely release and accountably use these funds, we will begin to reap the dividends of demography.
“As CSOs in Nigeria, today with one voice, we call on the government of Nigeria to prioritize family planning on its agenda to reap the dividends of demography and to release the 2021 budgetary allocation for family planning while applying the same results-based management approaches used in the COVID-19 ﬁght to family planning programming in Nigeria.”