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Implications of population growth for Nigeria’s development

FA Fan
BJ Besong


Nigeria’s population that was 16 million in 1911 is about 140 million today. Attention invariably turns to the implications of this growth to the qualities of life for her inhabitants. The paper notes that high birth rate, low death rate and migration are the sources of the high population growth in Nigeria. The population then competes directly for the finite resources that could have been used to generate income. The consequences are dire: most Nigerian children are chronically malnourished as there is a very high level of unemployment, limited access to formal education and shortage of social services. Nigerians are compelled by forces beyond their inherent “non-legal” status, have services and infrastructure far below the “adequate” or minimum standard. The paper recommends, inter alia, that Nigeria’s population policy be revisited. The provisions are very permissive as they stand because there are no sanctions for defaulters and that more jobs be provided for women for it has been found true that full-time housewives have a greater tendency to have more children than working mothers.

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eISSN: 1119-443X