World over, various countries have continued to battle increasing population rate through uncontrolled birth rate and migration from one country to another among others factors.
However, this has continued to affect world population. According to the United Nations statistics, world population is projected to be 7.6 billion and expected to reach 8 billion by 2023 and ten billion by 2056.
Currently, Nigeria is the seventh country in the world with the highest population of about 196 million people. This implies that Nigeria population is equivalent to 2.57% of the total world population of 7.6 billion.
The recent world population prospects predict that by 2050, Nigeria will become the third most populated country in the world to overtake United States which is over 322 million.
Over the last 50 years, Nigeria’s urban population has grown at an average annual growth rate of more than 6.5 per cent without commensurate increase in social amenities and infrastructure.
A recent report by the United Nations indicates that increase in population growth in developing countries poses a great challenge to the UN’s goal of improving healthcare, education, and to end poverty and hunger in these countries.
To tackle population rate in Nigeria, the first population policy was put together in 1988, but it failed to deliver on its targets which included reducing the fertility rate, the rate of early marriages and the population growth rate.
In 2005, National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development was launched; it also failed like the one before it.
Population growth no doubt will have adverse effects on infrastructure and result in unemployment.
This necessitated the commemoration of world population day celebrated annually on 11th of July. It first commenced in 1989 by the governing council of the United Nations development programme (undp].
This year’s theme “family planning is a human right” is apt and a pointer to government and indeed Nigerians that family planning is a panacea to national development which must be embraced by all for the betterment of the country.
The federal and state governments should ensure that people have easy and cheap access to contraceptives to prevent cases of unwanted pregnancies and births.
It is important for government at all levels to provide consumables at family planning hospitals through prompt release of family planning budget.
Also, civil society organizations and nongovernmental organizations should sensitize the public on various family planning methods and consequences of having many children who they cannot cater for.
Finally, to control population growth in Nigeria, there is the need for enlightenment on relationship between population growth and development.