The Federal Government has denied reports that it was planning an economic policy to limit childbirth in the country. Despite Nigeria’s population growing at an alarming rate with the growth rate standing at 2.61%, Nigeria is not going to cap the number of children a woman could give birth to.
According to the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, who refuted the allegation on her Twitter handle, @ZShamsuna, she said Nigeria is only engaging critical stakeholders like traditional and religious leaders to sensitise their members on child spacing.
The Minister tweeted:
“The federal government has been engaging critical stakeholders like traditional and religious leaders to advise their members on child spacing. We never said we are placing a cap on childbirth. What is child spacing? This is a healthy practice of waiting between pregnancies.”
Nigeria is yet to conduct a population census since 2006, after the proposed 2016 census failed to hold, though, another one is proposed for 2018. However, Nigeria currently stands as the seventh most populous nation in the world with an estimated population of about 198 million people and a population growth rate of 2.61%. Also, 2.57% of the world population currently resides in Nigeria.
Population Growth Rate
According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), there were only 37.9 million Nigerians as of 1950. At independence in 1960, Nigeria’s population had risen to 45.1 million with a yearly population growth rate of 2% while it jumped to 56 million in 1970 with a growth rate of 2.2%. By the end of 1980, the total number of Nigerians was 73.5 million with a population growth rate of 2.9% but dropped to 2.65% in 1990, with a population of 95.3 million.
At the turn of the century in the year 2000, Nigeria’s population has grown out of proportion and she consequently broke into the list of world’s top ten most populous countries, with a population of 122.4 million inhabitants. Ten years later in 2010, the yearly population growth was 2.7%, with a population of 158 million people.