People and traffic move along a busy street in Lagos, Nigeria, May 24,2005. REUTERS/George Esiri
• Making it the world’s most populated nation
The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA has said that Nigeria’s population that is increasing by 3.2 per cent annually, which projects to 216 in 2022, and may hit 400 million by 2050. This will make Nigeria the world’s most populated nation.
A UNFPA Deputy Country Representative, Erika Goldson made the assertion on Thursday in Abuja at the National Population Commission, NPC celebration of 2022 World Population Day. She represented the Executive Director, UNFPA United Nations Population Fund Resident Representative, Ulla Mueller at the celebration.
She said that African nations are relying on Nigeria to assist in achieving the Sustainable and Development Goals, SDGs, 2030, for the continent.
According to her, “As you may be aware, Nigeria’s population is currently increasing at a rate of 3.2 percent annually and it is projected at 216 million in 2022 and may reach 400 million by 2050, making it the world’s most populated nation.
“This rapid population increase implies that Africa and global attempts to achieve the SDGs rely heavily on Nigeria’s development. So, my Nigerian compatriots, you have a huge responsibility to lead the African region,” she said.
Chairman, National Population Commission NPC Hon Nasir Isa Kwarra, however, stated that one of the ways to address the challenges of a growing population in the country is to have accelerated access to family planning at all service points across all communities.
He stated that there is a need to have a quality and healthy population that can contribute to the growth and development of the country.
The 2022 world population celebration has its theme: “A World of 8 billion: Towards a Resilient Future – Harnessing Opportunities and Ensuring Rights and Choices for All”
Isa Kwarra expressed that the Commission is working hard to conduct a free, fair, reliable, credible and acceptable census come 2023.
According to him, Nigeria is among the eight countries globally sustaining the world population growth and leading in Africa.
“The current projections at 216 million people, who represent 216 million opportunities; if aptly harnessed, could transform the development landscape of our nation.
“The people’s age 13 structure favours the young people (those below the age of 30 years) who make up over 70 percent of our population.
“The situation calls for attention on providing quality and sustained investments in health care, particularly in family planning of women and adolescents, transformative and relevant education for growing numbers of children and young people that fits into current and future jobs requirements, housing and decent employment/jobs across successive administrations and governance.
“There is a need to harness the opportunities embedded in our people and establish resilience in addressing the challenges that our rapid population growth poses through accelerated equitable access to family planning at all service points across all communities.
“Therefore, focusing on numbers, underplay the importance of Rights and Choices, necessitating the urgency to shift the conversation from quantity to quality and from liability to creating assets of the people that exist across Nigeria,” the NPC chairman, Nasir Isa Kwarra said.
The Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire was represented by the Director of Family Health, Federal Ministry of Health, and said the Health Ministry remains more committed and has continued to make giant strides towards the regulation of fertility in Nigeria.
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