Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nigeria population issues

The Today Programme (Radio 4) reports from Lagos on the problems caused by rapid population growth. Listen again here (segment began at 08.30 this morning). Nigeria's population has doubled in the past two decades, and is set to double again (to over 300 million) in the next twenty.


Tininu 1:21 pm  

you know what!, this is probably one of the best blogs i have seen to date. the info is there clean and laid out and the links actually work...well done, very nice blog

BSNC 3:06 pm  

300 million lord have mercy...

Mike,  4:29 pm  

I have warned several times over the past years of this blog of the importance of population growth for Nigeria's development and the failure of government to address it. Seems you have to be a journalist to get noticed! lol

Controversial Anon 6:32 pm  

Call me disagreeable if you want, but I really prefer it when statistics are used objectively, and not twisted to further agendas. Lets look at the facts:

Landmass - 10,000,000 sq Km
Population - 750 million
Pop Density - 181 people per square mile

Landmass - 30,000,000 sq Km
Population - 900 million
Pop Density - 80 people per square mile

Landmass - 44,500,000 sq Km
Population - 3.8 Billion
Pop Density - 226 people per square mile

You can infer from the above that even if Africa's population triples over the next 50 years, we will still have leg room, no one is going to fall into the Atlantic.

The real issue is not with population, Lagos does not have a population problem, Nigeria does not have a population problem. The real issue is with the intelligence level (Lack of) of the people who think for us, who plan for us, who run our countries, cities, states, and governments.

According to the last census, there are just over 9 million people in lagos, even if we increase that to compensate for 'error' and say that there are 14 million people in Lagos Metropolis, that still leaves us behind Tokyo with 26million or New York with 18m, how come those cities are able to provide public transport, traffic management, green areas, suitable housing, waste disposal, Electricity, water supply, Security, Drainage, and countless public service?

The story is the same when you look at it in terms of countries, UK population density is 637 people per square mile, double that of Nigeria. Granted the man is talking about the rate of growth and not the actual population, but his analysis is flawed non the less.

I accept as pointed out that there is a correlation in many countries between Population/Population growth and living standards but I do not accept that this correlation is causal. Population/Population growth does not cause a fall in living standards, idotioc leaders do.

Finally, there is no way that the population of Nigeria is 145m, if you adjust that figure to recognize the blatant population figure manipulation done for political reasons in all (yes all) the states of Nigeria, you'll find that the true population is around 100million. Again, we have no population problem, we have a leadership problem.

tee,  11:14 pm  

con. anon , I agree with u on on most points. the problem with Nigeria is leadership. Our 'leaders' have not, in my opinion produced plans to solve such problems as , power cuts , human and food security , transport etc.however in the case of Lagos , i think we do have a population problem.
even if u want to say fashola is trying , we need other states in Nigeria to do the same. Because all fashola's work is doing is attractng more people to Lagos , and Lagos , eventually will not be able to cope. we have a serious maintainance deficit in our country. we need leaders who can recognise this and set out concrete plans to solve these issues , as opposed to throwing money into one industry or the other.
we also need to learn how best to use space. population growth is natural , we need a government that is able to anticipate problems and opportunities and act on them .

unfortunately we are led by people who do not understand or do not seem to think about Nigeria at all. Only God can save us.

Mogaji 11:33 pm  

Abeg controversial anon, what are you going on about now enh? The question is, does Nigeria have the resources to support such an explosion? Answer: No. Whether resources means land, water, GDP, brain power, effective government et cetera is irrelevant.

Anonymous,  2:08 am  

what's this only God can save us. Donald Duke, fashola and others can do just as well as God. the problem is we haven't been able to get one of them to the presidency.

Controversial Anon 9:25 am  

@ Mogaji

'Does Nigeria have the resources to support such an explosion'

My first point is that there is no 'explosion', there is population growth. Population growth which several countries only envy, Italy, Russia, etc, what they would give for this 'explosion'.

But let's rephrase the 'question' - Does Nigeria have the resources to cope with population growth?

Well, I shall answer the question with an analogy if I may. Let's say Nigeria is a patient that has a 'Serious Disease', this 'Serious Disease' just happens to have hundreds of symptoms - Poverty, Poor Planning, Poor Health care, Corruption, Poor Infrastructure, Horrible Education, uninhabitable cities etc. Now every time Nigeria goes to the hospital, she sees a different doctor, each time the doctor she sees identifies a symptom of the disease not the disease itself and makes a prescription for the symptom and not for the disease, outside the hospital door, there are snake oil salesmen waiting for Nigeria, waiting to sale her cures Not for her disease, but for her symptoms.

What do you suppose happens to Nigeria in the end? She forever will be attending the hospital until she stops curing her symptoms and begins curing her disease.

These snake oil salesmen - Oxfam, This population explosion man, IMF/World bank, EU, ODA, One laptop per child, Millennium Development goals etc - are selling you cures for your symptoms, if you concentrate on curing your disease, you will find that you do not need them, 'cos your symptoms will, as a consequence, disappear.

Naijablog blogs about these symptoms all the time, we all get frustrated by these symptoms everyday, in traffic, with armed robbers, in govt offices, at university, with the police, and so on. It is the symptoms that irritate us, little wonder why we are so keen to listen to these snake oil salesmen, but we ought really to open our eyes to the DISEASE.

Now if this analogy doesn't do it for you, then I accept that I'm wrong.

Anonymous,  11:31 am  

I would like to say the following:

1) Africa in general doesn't have a population problem yet.

2) Nigeria does have a population problem now.

3) Laying the problem squarely at the feet of the leaders is a cop out. The leaders did not grow up in isolation, they didn't live their lives in an egg. They are a part of society, their views and outlook came from society. They are reflecting and acting in a way that most other members of society (there) would behave if placed in a similar position. Don't deceive yourselves.

So you can't just say it is the fault of the leaders, and look the other way. Society has to question itself and play it's part.

4) If with a population of 140 million, things are being grossly mismanaged, what makes you think things will be a whole lot better with 300 million (with less money to go around)? There is no logic in that line of reasoning, considering the way society there has performed up to now.

5) Jeremy, you had alluded to this before in your post in “On Children”

I had written up quite an extensive reply .

Also under the post of “Eko Atlantic City.”

My views were contained in there. (Population control is closely linked with sustainability. What future do you want offer successive generations or do people not think about the future?).

6) I’m in more in agreement with Mike on this.

7) The government will typically take no action and when it’s too late will go running to the international community for something that could easily have been prevented and avoided entirely. Nigeria is heading the way of Haiti, being an overcrowded and degraded land with not much prospect of improvement. The writing is on the wall.

Nigeria has now become a name synonymous with mismanagement. I read an article from Greenpeace advising other African countries not to abuse their environment the way Nigeria has done. I was listening to a program on East Timor, before they started exporting oil, about how they would use their oil revenues, again Nigeria was touted as an example of the misuse and abuse of oil wealth. This will be no different, the population issue, will be another example for the world to draw from of what happens when no effective family planning program is taken on board, and the government looks the other way.

8) Controversial Anonymous, I agree that Nigeria’s census collecting capabilities leave something to be desired. But what makes your assessment of a population of nearer 100 million, more accurate than the entire state apparatus deployed across the country?

maddy!,  1:57 am  

WOW!! JUST LIKE SOME ONE SAID BEFORE ME: 300 BILLION LORD HAVE MERCY!!!!! geez..everyone has made good points but con anon it is abot th population a little it may not be the main importance right now but it is a problem. and nigeria does have a population problem! they aren't over populated but there pulation is huge!! especially since the are one of the poorest countries! and i don't know about you but i do think for myself! everyone thinks for there self. people just don't speak out enough!! sooo it isn't that we don't or the don't think for there self, because they do, I do, and you do. everyone does. its just our power of voice isn't as loud as our government. oh my god i absolutely agree with CodLiverOil!!!!!!! everything they said i agree with. again, we DO have a population problem!!!!

Boye 1:53 pm  

I hope people like controversial anon do not get to positions in nigeria where they can influence social and economic policy because he obviously prefers to wait till our population gets to 500 million before he agrees that there is a mortal danger facing nigeria in particular and humanity generally as a result of overpopulation of the earth.

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