Nigeria’s population becoming a demographic nightmare, say TI, CISLAC

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Transparency International (TI) and the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) have stated that Nigeria’s population is on the verge of becoming a demographic nightmare.

By 2050, they predicted that 400 million people would live in Nigeria, Persecondnews reports.

Speaking at the Population Conversation Seminar on Tuesday, which was hosted by Population Matters UK in collaboration with CISLAC and Transparency International (TI), Mr. Auwal Ibrahim Musa, also known as Rafsanjani, the Executive Director of CISLAC and Head of TI in Nigeria, advocated lowering the birth rate as a means of addressing the looming population explosion.

He said: “The same burning desire for sustainable growth was brought to the fore in this foremost groundbreaking gathering themed, the Nigeria Population Conversation Seminar by Population Matters UK and CISLAC/TI-Nigeria. We are delighted to take the lead in this process.

“While population affects every facet of societal development, discussion around population remains uncommon in Nigeria, and this puts Nigeria’s population, which is projected to reach 400 million by 2050, doubling the current estimate, at a demographic nightmare.

“We cannot conceal the fact that, with the current inadequate awareness of the consequences of population at the citizenry and policy levels, as well as the unattended impact on national planning, Nigeria has not efficiently harnessed its population to achieve development goals.

“This fact has been buttressed by the multiplier effects of youth unemployment, insecurity, inaccessible healthcare services, food insecurity, education inequality, and other challenges that undermine the socio-economic development of Nigeria.”

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Quoting data from UNICEF, Rafsanjani disclosed that over 50 percent of girls are not attending school at the basic education level, while 1,000,000 girls drop out between the first and last year of primary school.

He added that Nigeria accounts for 20 percent of all out-of-school children in sub-Saharan Africa, with close to 20 million out-of-school children.

“While a significant function of girl child education in Nigeria is to provide her with diverse basic knowledge, skills, and training that contribute to personal development and overall national development, more than 50 percent of girls are not attending school at the basic education level, while 1 million girls drop out between the first and last year of primary school (UNICEF).

“In addition, Nigeria accounts for 20 percent of all out-of-school children in sub-Saharan Africa, with nearly 20 million out-of-school children.

“Likewise, in Nigeria, about 53.40 percent of youths are unemployed, according to youth unemployment rates released by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2022.

“This again exposes our country to most of the social crimes perpetuated by youths, including the accelerated level of prostitution, armed robbery, rape, and all facets of violence, which can be largely attributed to the incidence of youth unemployment.

“Given this background, we cannot deny the fact that the time has come for Nigerians to begin to embrace the idea of smaller families to boycott ravaging poverty, youth unemployment, child mortality, and other socio-economic upheavals.

“As a result, the Nigeria Population Conversation project is necessitated by the need to engender people-oriented participation and harvest perceptions on population to shape policy direction for well-informed national planning to achieve the overall demographic advantage for sustainable development,” Rafsanjani said.

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