As of 2017, the Nigerian population stood at an astounding figure of 190.9 million. Three years later, that figure has grown to 204 million. And by 2050, this number is forecasted to double to around 400 million. With these statistics, Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa and the seventh in the world. The rate at which the population of this nation is growing is shocking for a lot of people. Below are some of the reasons that enable this fast growth.
Lack of proper sex education
In the African culture, open communication about sex and anything in that line is considered a taboo. A child cannot freely start talking or asking anything about sex because of the stigma, particularly from parents and the elderly. And as a result, this discourages them from getting the necessary information. Consequently, they instead embark on trying it out by themselves since no one is there to guide them.
Most kids, therefore, engage in sexual acts at a very tender age. And since they lack the information on how to protect themselves from early pregnancies and diseases, they end up becoming young parents. That is why there are so many cases of teenage pregnancies in a bunch of other countries in Africa. And sadly, this is a sickening nightmare still happening in most parts of Nigeria, which may follow the doubling growth of the population.
Lack of the will to embrace contraceptives
The Nigerian government has been doing all within its power to acquaint locals with the importance of controlling the birth rate. As it is, approximately 90% of Nigerian adults are aware of the ways to avoid sexually transmitted infections, diseases, and pregnancies. On the flip side though, about 15% of women in the childbearing age use contraceptives. This makes the Nigerian population grow by over 2% every year.
Early marriages in Nigeria are nothing new to locals. Girls as young as thirteen years old are being married off for the family to receive bride prizes and ensure there is continuity of the community’s legacy. Even in the 21st century, rural places in Nigeria still consider this normal and must-do cultural practices.
Unfortunately, a thirteen years old girl is still very naive and very vulnerable. She lacks the voice to speak out and even better yet protect herself against pregnancies and other diseases. When she gets married off at a tender age, she often ends up having about three kids by the time she is 20 years. And if she doesn’t pick up using contraceptives, she may have over 10 kids when she reaches 40 years. Such eventualities continue to snowball Nigeria’s population leading to prevalent low-income families. As a result, informal settlements come up, causing some of the nightmares experienced by slum dwellers in Nigeria.
Africans are perhaps one of the most stubborn people when it comes to civilization. Some Nigerians still live by the olden ways of life, shunning any form of modernism. The African outlived culture dictates that the function of a girl in a home is to grow and get married off.
As it is, a ton of women stay at home, bear children, and take care of the family. With this notion in play, the belief of giving birth to a lot of children is considered a success. In fact, the average birth rate of a typical Nigerian woman is about five kids per life span, according to the Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey of 2013.
The population of Nigeria will keep on growing if nothing changes. So much so, the government should come up with nifty policies to curb this issue. One effective way to tackle the ballooning population is by educating families in rural areas about the importance of having manageable families.