Why We Are Worried About Nigeria - United Nations
Muhammadu Buhari: image courtesy State House

The United Nations has said it is worried about the country’s rising population, corruption and poverty levels, Concise News reports.

This statement came from the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria Edward Kallon on Monday in Sokoto State.

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Kallon said this during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Sokoto State Government and the UN on human and environmental development.

“More worrisome is the country’s explosive demographic growth put at an estimated rate of 3.2 percent; while the economy is growing at 2.1 percent,” he said.

On his part, Governor Aminu Tambuwal vowed to raise governmental collaborations with United Nations’ agencies on enhancing peoples’ lives and environmental developments.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) had in April said Nigeria’s population surged to a new high of 201 million.

In the 2019 state of the world population published on its website and seen by Concise News, UNFPA said Nigeria’s growth rate has been at an average of 2.6 percent from 2010 to 2019.

The fertility rate among Nigerian women has dropped from 6.4 in 1969 to 5.3 in 2019; this means an average Nigerian woman gives birth to at least five children.

Global fertility rate, or the average number of births per woman stood at 4.8 in 1969; 2.9 in 1994; and 2.5 in 2019.

According to the report, contraceptive prevalence rate among Nigerian women aged 15-49 is only 19 percent, adding that decision making on sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights among these women has averaged at 51 percent between 2007 to 2018.

What this entails is that 49 percent of Nigerian women still do not have the power to decide on their sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.

The UN agency estimated that Nigeria’s population has grown from 54.7 million in 1969 to 105.4 million in 1994 and 201.0 million in 2019.

Of this 201 million, 44 percent or 88.44 million are between the ages of 0 and 14, while 32 percent, 64.32 are within the ages of 10 and 24.

The reports revealed that “reproductive rights are still out of reach for too many women, including the more than 200 million women who want to prevent a pregnancy but cannot access modern contraceptive information and services”.

“Ultimately, almost all of the 4.3 billion people of reproductive age around the world today will have had inadequate access to sexual and reproductive health services at some point.”