Report: Managing Nigeria’s population explosion

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In February, the Executive Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Alhaji Isa Kwarra, inaugurated a Technical Working Group for the conduct of the 2022 census. The TWC was chaired by the Acting Director-General, Mrs. Patience Mbagwu.

Kwarra said members of the group were carefully constituted taking into account the professional competence and commitment of selected individuals.

With the commission adopting for the first time in the country, digital census, the NPC Chairman urged them to bring to bear their technical expertise and wealth of experience in the discharge of their responsibilities.

The group has the mandate to advise the commission on pre-census, census and post-census activities; develop the methodology and instruments for the census and providing platform for articulating and coordinating the activities of the census. It is also to develop census logistics plans, periodically report progress and challenges to the commission and develop terms of reference and make recommendations on the composition of relevant national census committees.

Apart from security, the economy and institutional corruption that is bedeviling the country, Nigeria is on the brink of reaping from it uncontrolled population. In 2020, stakeholders at the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER) identified uncontrolled population growth and corruption as part of the fundamental challenges which Nigeria must address in order to develop.

At the webinar titled ‘Is Nigeria in the Eye of a Perfect Storm?’ Dr Joe Abah, a one time Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms said that Nigerians need to know what change they required and how to achieve it.

“Everybody recognises that there is the need for change but what some lack is the information on how to go about the change and that what I believe dialogues like this can give us. We need to start having serious conversations about the family size, which is devoid of ethnic or religious bias.

“It’s basically getting it across to the people that the more children they have, the low the quality of life they will have. It is irresponsible and wicked for anybody to continue to have children that he/she will not able to cater for. We need the traditional rulers and religious bodies to help in this regard,” Abah said.

Also, the Director- General, NISER, Dr. Folarin Gbadebo-Smith, noted that most Nigerians had subscribed to a culture of silence over issues. “We don’t want to offend the sensibility of the politically-economic establishment that is taking advantage of the situation we are in. Clearly, there is the tendency in Nigeria to create monopolies. We just witnessed a situation where there were uproars when the land border was opened for a certain company.

“We all agreed that we have been facing this situation for long. If we don’t do anything about this, aside speaking to the legislators and making them do what we want, there is still the question of the followership and what they subscribe to,” he said.

In China, one-child policy was initiated in the late 1970s and early ’80s to limit the great majority of family units in the country to one child each. The rationale for implementing the policy was to reduce the growth rate of China’s enormous population. Today, the programmed has paid off for the country and it is thriving economically.

Nigeria needs to take a drastic action to control its population for economic growth and development and also for a safe and secured Nigeria.

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