There is growing call for unrestricted access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services by every woman to curb Nigeria’s teeming population, projected to rise at an average of six million yearly, according to the Population Reference Bureau (PRB).
Stakeholders who are pushing the advocacy strongly believe that the strategy would curtail the country’s fertility rate which is put at 5.7, above both the continent’s and global average rate.
The latest Population Reference Bureau (PRB) report revealed the fourth most fertile African country with its population projected to grow by an average of 500,000 monthly and a further six million increase yearly.
The ‘2020 World Population Data Sheet’ released by the PRB to mark the World Population Day and made available to Saturday Leadership put Nigeria’s Population at 206.1 million, noting that the figure would reach almost 300 million in 15 years’ time.
The PRB data also estimated that Nigeria’s population would reach 295.0 million by mid-2035 and surpass 401.3 million in 2050, even as the country is among seven African countries leading with worrisome fertility rates.
According to the data, Nigeria is occupying an unenviable fourth position among the countries’ continent in fertility rate.
Further, the country exceeded both the Continent’s and global average Total Fertility Rate (TFR) which is 4.4 and 2.3 respectively.
Specifically, the PRB data showed that among four African countries, Nigeria is fourth after Benin Republic with fertility rate of 5.7, Mali – 6.3 and Niger – 7.1.