The National Population Commission (NPC) has declared that by the year 2050, the country’s population which currently stands at 198 million will hit 410 million, making her the third most populous nation in the world.
NPC Chairman, Eze Duruiheoma (SAN), who stated this yesterday at a press briefing to mark the 2018 World Population Day in Abuja, quoted the United Nations predictions that Nigeria’s population will reach 264 million by 2030.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s world Population Day: “Family Planning as Human Right,” the NPC boss stated that going by the current growth rate, by 2100, the country’s population will in 2100 reach 724 million.
He noted that the basic right to reproductive choices encompasses rights to information about access to contraception, education and the means to determine the spacing of children, as well as the right to decide freely the number and spacing of children without any coercion or compulsion and discrimination.
According to Duruiheoma, the extent to which this right is promoted and exercised explains the impact of fertility on the social well-being of the population, particularly of women, adolescent girls/young people and infants.
He noted that the social demographic outcomes of the limited or non exercise of important basic Human Rights by the Right Holders resulted in high sustained total fertility rate of 5.5 per cent (average six children per Nigerian women).
He also stressed that the trend is fueled by stagnation of modern contraceptive prevalent rate of 10 percent over the last two decades with unmet needs of family planning at 16 percent, adding that the outcomes vary between the rural and urban areas across the states and regions of the country.
He argued that since the rights to reproductive choices is under international customary law as well as in various Constitutions of different nations, including Nigeria, individuals, couples and parents are entitled to correct information, in language and terms they can understand to help them make informed choices, appropriate education and means.
As a step forward, the NPC boss tasked Nigeria being part of the consensus reached by 179 countries in Cairo during the 1994 International Child Project Development (ICPD) to recognise and promote the exercise of this basic human right by focusing on the provision of information, access to full range of family planning options (free) everywhere