By Mustapha Sumaila
Abuja – The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says if Nigeria succeeds in harnessing Demographic Dividend (DD), Africa as a continent will succeed.
Dr Mabingue Ngom, the UNFPA’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa Regional Office, stated this while fielding questions at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.
Ngom said that Nigeria being the giant of Africa had an important role to play in the continent because of its unique strength in terms of population and resources.
He said that Nigeria was the most populous nation in Africa and the seventh most populous in the world.
“Nigeria is so important to us because we believe if Nigeria succeeds, Africa will succeed and if Africa has succeeded, there is no doubt, we will have a better world.
“Nigeria has a great and important role to play and I am happy we are enjoying strong partnership with the people of this country.
“And we can build on it to make sure whatever we do here is replicated in Western and Central African countries,” Ngom said.
On harnessing DD, the UNFPA regional director said that Nigeria was on track, but advised the country to do more.
“We need to do more, we need to go faster and there is need for us to do it together because of the significance of this issue,” the official said.
Ngom also underscored the need for the private sector to play an aggressive role to make accelerated progress in this important project of global growth.
He charged media to be major players in sensitising stakeholders in harnessing DD in the country and indeed Africa.