Indications have emerged that Nigeria faces imminent population explosion if the country fails to address its growing fertility rate.
The prediction is confirmed by the latest report in the Monthly Economic and Financial Market Review and Outlook for July 2018 which showed latest research estimates that Nigeria’s population may grow to 235 million in 2022 given the average rates in the population of the 36 states of the federation between 2012 and 2016.
This is also coming on the heels of an earlier report by the UN which projected that Nigeria would become the world’s third most populous nation by 2050. Nigeria is currently ranked 8th on the global demographic ladder.
With records showing that the Total Fertility Rate, TFR, of the country was about 5.6 per cent in 2016 and 5.46 per cent in 2017, stakeholders fear that despite the increase, more Nigerian women are yet to have full access to family planning – an indication that the population will continue to grow.
Further findings by Good Health Weekly show that the major challenges could only be addressed when Nigerian women holistically adopt family planning and the country becomes more diligent in anything they do, without that, the population will continue to increase.
The report released by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, for the month of July, estimated the population of Nigeria to be 194 million in 2016, with an average growth rate of 3.28 per cent between 2012 and 2016. Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, recorded the fastest average population growth rate of 9.75 per cent.
The report states: “We expect five states to contribute about 26 per cent of the total population in 2022. However, it is unclear if the large population is beneficial to the Nigerian economy”. According to the report, the FSDH Research notes that the growth rate in the economy in the last three years is lower than the population growth rate.
The report also noted that the trend may continue in the next five years unless urgent measures are taken.
However, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel, should the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health succeeds in its plans to scale up family planning services across all parts of the country.
Just last week, the Federal Government launched three key reproductive health documents towards scaling up of family planning in Nigeria.