How Nigeria can curb population explosion
Nigeria’s population, according to experts, is growing at a scary rate. Ugandan journalist Shifa Mwesigye, in this report for The Nation, examines the way out of this challenge.
He has 21 children. Mustafa blames it on the lack of knowledge of family planning and its benefits. He says he would have had fewer if he knew what he now knows. His oldest child is 33 years and the youngest is nine.
“I did not plan to have many. It just happened that my wives and I had them. Every year, my wives would each give birth. The knowledge of family planning came late when I had 18 children,” Mustafa says. He has two wives, Mastula and Amina. “By this time, I wanted to stop but I did not know what to do.”
Mustafa’s story is a reflection of current studies and statistics; it mirrors the lives of many families in the poorest communities of Africa. Yet, Nigeria is special as it is already the most populous African nation and on the seventh rank in the world. If its population of 200 million people continues to grow at the current rate of 3.2 per cent each year, the country will have the third-largest population worldwide with 411 million people by 2050.