Fred Ezeh, Abuja
National Population Commission (NPC) said said Nigeria has fertility rate of 5.5 percent, indicating an average of six children per Nigerian woman.
This, he said, was fueled by stagnation of modern Contraceptive Prevalent Rate (mCPR) of 10 percent over the last two decades, with unmet need for family planning at 16 percent.
NPC Chairman, Eze Duruiheoma, divulged the information in Abuja, yesterday, at a press conference to herald a week-long event to commemorate the 2018 World Population Day.
He said unmet need for family planning arose from inequality in access to information or services, limited choices of contraceptives and lack of sufficient support from partners and communities.
He reminded Nigerians that family planning is a human right, effective and harmless, with an encouragement for its adoption to help control birth in the country.
The NPC chairman confirmed that Nigeria’s estimated population is 198 million, with fear that the recent prediction that placed the country’s population at 264 million by 2030 and 410 million by 2050 might be disastrous, if commensurate resources are not provided to carter for the population.
Deputy Representative of United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) Nigeria, Dr. Eugene Kongnyuy, in his remarks, stressed the need for urgent action that would result in population control in the country.
He suggested gradual discouragement of the cultural and religious beliefs which had, hitherto, discouraged the use of contraceptives and other family planning methods.
He challenged government to be responsible in providing individuals, couples and parents with adequate information, education, resources and services that would enable them make informed decisions as regards family planning.