Former Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi ll, has called for implementation of strict family planning laws to regulate the country’s population.
Sanusi, who spoke on Wednesday during the ongoing Ehingbetti Economic Summit in Lagos, said people ought to give birth to children that they can cater for.
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According to the ex-governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), emerging realities have shown that government cannot adequately provide the needed infrastructure for the surging population of children in the country.
Sanusi faulted the extant arrangement in the country where people can give birth to several children, not minding their financial strength, noting that such is “antithetical even to Islamic law.”
He said: “The idea that people can marry any number of wives they want without any kind of regulation to produce the number of children they can produce without being able to feed them and educate them is something that basically is completely antithetical even to Islamic law.
“I don’t know why but there is a mindset against implementing the appropriate regulations in Islam which is that you do not build families you cannot maintain and you cannot abandon this responsibility.
People should not produce children they can’t care for
“We can continue preaching and we can tell the government to spend more money on education but if people are going to produce 20, 30 children without being able to educate them, I maintain that the government cannot keep up with that pace.
“Beyond spending money and beyond the budget, the idea of education awareness, regulation and the mindset of people would need to be addressed.”
The former Emir called on Nigerians to embrace family structure, child spacing and family planning as such are integral to human capital development of nations.
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He enjoined the federal government to dissipate more energy into sensitising Nigerians on child nutrition.
He added: “One thing we need to look at is that sometimes by the time these children get to school, it is too late. We’ve got to think of nutrition before they get to school and that is extremely important for that programme to be expanded to deal with that.
“Very often at that level, it is not so much spending money on providing food as so much as investing in education and awareness, engagement through antenatal care, through conversations for people to understand what exactly what they need to do to give their children,” he said.