Experts have expressed concerns over Nigeria’s population explosion with the country moving from 10th most populous country in 1990 with 94 million people to become the 6th most populous nation in 2020 with the numbers projected at 216 million people by December 2022.
Experts say there is a need for the government and all stakeholders to take urgent measures to address the situation, adding that the current population growth rate has dire consequences if not addressed as quickly as possible.
In its 2022 World Population Prospects released on Monday, the United Nations projected the global population to reach 8 billion by November 15, 2022, with China maintaining its lead.
India is expected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2050, the annual report prepared by the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs stated.
The report, which was released in commemoration of World Population Day shows Nigeria also moved six steps upwards and projected to become the 4th most populous with a 375m population by 2050.
The report says Nigeria, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, and Philippines will account for more than half of the global population in 2050.
While stating that its latest projections suggest that the world’s population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050, it said countries of sub-Saharan Africa were expected to contribute more than half of the figure to become the world’s most populated sub region.
The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres was quoted to have said: “This year’s World Population Day falls during a milestone year when we anticipate the birth of the earth’s eight billionth inhabitant.”
While saying that the global population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950, having fallen under one per cent in 2020, the World Population Prospects 2022 also states that fertility has fallen markedly in recent decades for many countries.
Professor Emmanuel Lufadeju, National Coordinator of the Rotary Action Group for Reproductive Maternal and Child Health (RMCH), has said the implications of Nigeria’s population growth rate would translate to poverty if nothing is done to address it.
He said there is also the implication of unemployment, and poor resource utilisation, adding that the overpopulation was growing more than the resources could cope with.
On the way out, Prof. Lufadeju said citizens must be educated to have only the number of children they could care for, use modern contraceptives, space the birth of their children and make sure they are able to train their children in school.
The report projects that the global population aged 65 years or above will rise from 10 per cent in 2022 to 16 per cent in 2050.
It advises countries with aging populations to take steps to adapt public programmes to the growing proportion of older persons, including by improving the sustainability of social security and pension systems and by establishing universal health care and long-term care systems.
Coordinator Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), Dr Aminu Magashi Garba warned that the country’s population would lead to food scarcity, fewer jobs, jobless youths and insecurity and hunger and poor health indices.
He said the way out is to invest in family planning to manage the population and also “Be innovative to use the ‘youth bulge’ to its advantage by keeping them engaged with productive jobs that will support economies such as Information Communication Technology (ICT) and agriculture.
He advised the federal government to redouble its efforts in its determination to achieve the Family Planning (FP) 2030 commitment.
The federal government formally launched the 2030 FP commitment in March this year, in Abuja. It is even more worrisome that 70 per cent of the over 200 million people in Nigeria were under the age of 30.
Paul Alaje, Senior Economist, at SPM Professionals Abuja, is unexcited about the projected rise in Nigeria’s population growth.
He said that based on Nigeria’s growth pattern and parameters in the past seven years and more, Nigeria’s poverty level would rise, more with the increased population of the magnitude projected by the UN body.
According to him, what counts in a population is the productivity of the population. He cautioned that Nigeria’s economy was largely consuming and wasn’t productive enough to be viable with 375 million by 2050.
The global population is projected to reach 8 billion on 15 November 2022, according to the World Population Prospects 2022, released today [July 11, 2022] by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Reaching this milestone is both a cause for celebration and a clarion call for humanity to find solutions to the challenges we face.
The challenges facing humanity are acute: generation-defining issues such as climate change, conflict and COVID-19 are disproportionately affecting the most marginalized and vulnerable among us. To date, millions continue to live in poverty and suffer from hunger and malnutrition, do not have access to healthcare and social protection, and are unable to complete quality primary and secondary education. Women around the world are still denied the fundamental right to make decisions over their bodies and futures, and we are seeing a worrying roll-back of progress on women’s rights in many countries.
Despite these challenges, the story behind 8 billion and how we’ve got here is a story of triumph. We have reduced poverty and achieved remarkable advancements in health care. There are more of us humans than ever before due, in part, to increasing life expectancy and declining infant and maternal mortality.
“This is a success story, not a doomsday scenario. Our world, despite its challenges, is one where higher shares of people are educated and live healthier lives than at any previous point in history,” said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem. “Focusing exclusively on population totals and growth rates misses the point – and often leads to coercive and counter-productive measures and the erosion of human rights. In fact, people are the solution, not the problem. Experience shows that investing in people, in their rights and choices, is the path to peaceful, prosperous and sustainable societies.”
As we approach November 2022, UNFPA will work with our partners and communities to harness the power of 8 billion as part of our mission to achieve the goals set out in the ICPD Programme of Action back in 1994. By protecting the rights and choices of all people to live healthy, empowered lives, humanity holds the key to unleashing the unlimited potential of people around the world to address the challenges threatening their societies and the global problems imperiling us all.
We are not on this journey alone – there are many examples of solidarity and individual heroism, and we must all work together to address poverty, discrimination, violence and exclusion and other barriers that are denying millions of people around the world their rights and choices.
This moment calls for both vision and action. Governments can pursue people-centered population policies with sexual and reproductive health and rights at their core. The private sector can develop creative solutions, harnessing the power of innovation and technology for the global good. Artists and creative people around the world can apply their ingenuity and talent to inspire us and help us imagine the promise that a world of 8 billion people offers.
Collectively, we represent infinite possibilities for action, growth and change. Creating a more just and sustainable world requires urging the world forward towards equal rights and opportunities for one – and for all.
Key Findings of the World Population Prospects 2022:
- The world’s population is projected to reach a peak of around 10.4 billion people during the 2080s and to remain at that level until 2100.
It took about 12 years to grow from 7 to 8 billion, approximately the same time as from 6 to 7 billion. The next billion is expected to take approx 14.5 years (2037).
- Half of the 8th billion added to the world population was a result of Asia’s demographic expansion. Africa made the second largest contribution (almost 400 million).
10 countries contributed to more than half of population growth leading from the 7th to the 8th billion. India was by far the largest contributor, followed by China and Nigeria.
Africa and Asia will drive population growth until the 9th billion is achieved in 2037.
- Today, two-thirds of the global population lives in a country or area where lifetime fertility is below 2.1 births per woman (also known as replacement fertility).
Global life expectancy at birth reached 72.8 years in 2019, an improvement of almost 9 years since 1990. But in 2021, life expectancy for the least developed countries lagged 7 years behind the global average.
In many developing countries, the share of population at working ages (between 25 and 64 years) has been increasing.