With Nigeria’s huge population, there is need for all Nigerians to pause and think on how to curb the huge population.
As we are all aware, the Nigerian population is 198 million and this figure has an implication on the country in all aspects of the economy. A quarter of the population is almost twice the population of Republic of Benin. The central of this is uncontrolled birth. The explosion in Nigeria’s population has not been commensurate with resources.
The Nigerian huge population can lead to increase in crime and prostitution and with social dislocation, what a country gets is underdevelopment and a failed nation.
Uncontrolled birth is unacceptable because when a man has a big family he cannot cater for, he will have to deny child A to send child B to school, leading to more miscreants, thieves, thugs and hoodlums on our streets, and the vicious circle continues. Not able to cater for a large family can also lead to corruption because when you have more than you can care for, you would be force to steal.
This is a huge problem, if we want to help the country, we must promote family planning. According to the director, family planning and nutrition, Lagos state ministry of health, Dr. Folashade Oludara,
“Even if government tries to take care of six million people today, you will see that by the time the budget is released, that six million has doubled to 12 million. So that is a major challenge, the huge population, the ever growing population.”
Oludara said there are lots of pressure on the government due to the huge population, a population that is not under control, a population of fertility rate of over five per cent, which means that a woman will have an average of five children in her lifetime.
She, however, encouraged women to embrace family planning, as it would not only help them to space their children, thereby giving quality care to them, but productivity will improve and the state will have a lot of empowered women.
The reproductive health coordinator, Lagos state ministry of health, Dr Saidat Okaga, said family planning plays a role in the reduction of the number of Maternal and new born mortality up to 32 per cent.
Okaga said statistics have shown that every N200 spent on family planning, saves N974 in direct healthcare costs. She said unintended pregnancies carry associated healthcare costs and the government is determined to address the barriers to family planning use, thereby saving an additional N3.5 billion in direct healthcare expenses by 2018.
She however pleaded with Nigerians to start using family planning, as it will not only help to save more fund for the government, but also improve their health, and reduce poverty in the state.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), while stating the benefits of family planning said, “When a woman can plan her family, she can plan her life. She can pursue more education, seek and keep better jobs, and contribute more to her family, her nation and to global prosperity. As she becomes better-off financially, her children receive better education, and the benefits carry over well into future generations.”
The organisation said its strategic plan aims to eliminate all unmet needs for family planning by 2030. It said, “In 2017, contraceptives provided by UNFPA had the potential to reach 27 million users with a choice of modern family planning methods. These contraceptives had the potential to avert 13.5 million unintended pregnancies, 32,000 maternal deaths, 207,000 child deaths and 4.1 million unsafe abortions.
“Contraceptives provided by UNFPA in 2017 had the potential to save families and health systems $819 million in direct health-care costs (costs of care during pregnancy and childbirth). In Nigeria, the contraceptives provided in 2017 had the potentials to avert 2.1 million Couple Year Protection.
“447,000 unintended pregnancies, 325,000 unintended birth, 2,730 maternal deaths and 529,000 Disability-Adjusted Life Years, a measure of overall disease burden.”
The organisation, however, advocated increased national investment in family planning services, promotes reproductive health commodity security and supports efforts to expand the choice of methods and improve the quality of services.