Nigeria’s population growth which is unfavorable to economic growth has been identified not only as a problem but as the cause of poverty.
Professor Jibrin Ibrahim, Senior Researcher, Center for Democracy and Development, Abuja, and speaker on: “Population, rights and peace, alleviating insecurity and gender-based violence to harness the demographic dividend”, criticized the misconception that “people are strength”, saying it must be commensurate with economic development.
He affirmed his claim that Nigeria is currently characterized as the poverty capital of the world with 93.9 people currently living below the poverty line.
“Seven million Nigerians fell into extreme poverty in 2020, Nigeria, with its 200 million plus population, was the first to be declared the world capital of poverty in 2018,” he said .
Ibrahim expressed concern about the uncontrolled rate of population growth in the country, warning that Nigeria’s biggest problem is uncontrolled population growth.
“Each year, we add 5 million people to our population. It’s about the size of Liberia or Montenegro.
“According to www.populationpyramid.net, in 1960 the population of the United Kingdom was 52 million while that of Nigeria was 46 million in 2015
“The UK was 62 million while Nigeria was 185 million and by 2070 Nigeria will be 550 million while the UK will be only 80 million.”
Ms. Ulla Muller, Country Representative, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), reaffirmed the need to promote family planning to alleviate physical and food insecurity.
Muller said the total fertility rate in the country is high with a low contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR).
According to her, to achieve the demographic dividend, we must increase economic growth and eliminate gender-based violence.
Sen Olubumi Adetunbi, chairman of the Senate Committee on National Planning and Economic Affairs, regretted why Nigeria had missed the 10-year census period.
Adetunbi, however, called for a reliable and credible census to be conducted that would include citizens’ religious data to reduce controversy. (NOPE)