Nigeria ‘will not limit childbirths’
Nigeria’s finance minister has clarified her comments about how the government’s plans to deal with growing population.
Speaking at the annual Nigeria Economic Summit in the capital, Abuja, Zainab Ahmed had said the government had been engaging traditional rulers and religious organisations to tackle the issue (see earlier post).
She has tweeted that this would mean encouraging women to take more time between having each child – not limiting the number of children a woman can have:
The federal government has been engaging critical stakeholders like traditional and religious leaders to advise their members on child spacing.
We never said we are placing a cap on childbirth.
What is child spacing?
This is a healthy practice of waiting between pregnancies. pic.twitter.com/fs0kfPzElw
— Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed (@ZShamsuna) October 24, 2018
Thirty years ago, an attempt by then-President Ibrahim Babangida to implement a birth control policy floundered, says BBC Igbo’s Uche Akolisa.
It tried to limit each couple to having a maximum of four children – failing to allow for cultural and religious sensitivities, she says.
According to the UN, the country is on course to become the third most-populous nation in the world after China and India by the middle of the century.
It warns of the challenges this poses in terms of provision of education, healthcare and jobs.
Unemployment in Nigeria currently stands at almost 20%. In 2016, 45% of graduates were unemployed.