Interview With News Central TV on the Population Day

Eyes on Africa as World Population Expodes (News Central TV)

It was the Population Day on July 11, 2022; the day the word celebrates and attempts to focus attention on population issues with a view to ensuring that desired attention is focused on population to interrogate the profile of world population in terms of the numbers and spread and indeed what challenges and prospects if any are being thrown up. The records indicate that world population has grown in the past decade from about 7 billion people in the world to almost 8 billion today with the projection that world population will increase to about 11 billion by the end of the century.

African Continent with a population estimated at 1.42 billion representing the Continent with the largest population in the world second only to the Asian Continent. But on a causal analysis of The $100 Trillion world economy as should be expected, Africa punches below its weight. In fact the Indian continent compares favourably with the whole of Africa. And what is more is the fact that this staggering population figures should be cause for some concern as it is most certainly not going to be a walk in the park to increase resources in a commensurate manner with consequential effect of a deterioration in the overall quality of life.

I was invited for live discussion on News Central TV where I shared platform with a gentleman from Botswana where he is lecturer at the University engaged in population studies. My position on population increases particularly on the African Continent is that of concern as I was in no doubt that it was not going to be possible to grow resources to match such growth levels in population and therefore the inevitable result will be deterioration in the conditions of living for most as pressure is piled up on limited resources.

Some of the consequences of rapid increase in population figures already here with us.

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There is depletion of the ozone layer as a result of the effect of Carbon Monoxide emission into the atmosphere and enhanced green house effect. In most regions of the world population increases have resulted to deforestations as trees are cut down to provide needed fuel for domestic use and as more space is reclaimed, there are dangerous gully erosions, rising water levels which have resulted to massive flooding across many continents of the word leaving loss of lives, tears, misery and heart rending displacement of families in its wake.

 Therefore what remains is to ask what is to be done to regulate population increases across the globe even as it is correct to observe that there are locations where revise concerns is the case as there is the fear of low birth rates. But such locations must be few and far between. Botswana with a population of about 2 million was fingered to have expressed such concerns in the past.

What options are there for population controls? In some regions of the world there has been an attempt to regulate child birth through family planning methods; condoms are distributed freely and in some cases injections are administered and birth control pills are freely distributed to avoid or regulate pregnancies. But what has happened is that such measures have encountered resistance from faith based institutions that have correctly argued that abortion practices amount to deliberate murder which must not be condoned.

In Nigeria during the regime of President Babangida there was an attempt to encourage couples to restrict family size to not more than four. But what is obvious is that such direct attack on population has never been successful. In the first place it is difficult to monitor not to talk about enforce.

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Business development consultant, Boniface Chizea

There is also the challenge of knowing what the actual population figures are. While some countries in the African Continent such as Botswana with small populations have done quite well in this respect, the same cannot be said of Nigeria. It is believed that the population of Nigeria currently estimated at 216 million people is woefully exaggerated since it is a known fact that population size confer some advantages particularly from the perspective of the allocations of national resources which is often influenced by the population size of the region. Therefore there is considerable padding of population figures for the reasons of gaining some political advantage. The current lame duck regime has signalled its intention to conduct national census before the end of its term. What needed to be done going forward is to arrive on jointly agreed base of population figure and thereafter to update it through the registers of birth and death along with tracking of immigration data.

The best approach to get a handle on the challenge of increasing population figures will be, as far as I am concerned to fast forward rapid development of the population across board. It is a historical fact that in the past when the dominant occupation was agrarian there were advantages derivable from large population as that translated to more farm hands. But with development and the resulting enhanced quality of life, individuals in their enlightened self-interest had per force no choice but to manage family sizes with a view to the sustenance of the quality of life. It is also possible to work out fiscal incentives to encourage the attainment of objectives in this connection.

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The advantages of youth bulge in the African continent was also spot lighted during the conversation as this could be a volatile group if not properly cared for. In Nigeria this group is particularly internet savvy, enlightened and trendy and are therefore eager to engage. And therefore we must demonstrate some intentionality as they are provided for. Otherwise this group could become aggressive and restless with their entitlement mentality; prepared to cause lots of problems for everybody to upset the apple cart in the process. Again the general panacea as has been discussed here would be to foster rapid growth and development so that prosperity including opportunities is shared by all concerned.

It is commendable to note that a day has been set aside to focus on world population. Otherwise a generality of us would not be sensitized with regard to likely population related problems which could pose present danger for the welfare of mankind and particularly what contributions we could make at our individual levels to ensure that this problem does not fester to carrier out of hand. The overall challenge will be to hire good managers of the economy in countries across the globe with good values so that resources are better managed to catalyse rapid growth and development in the best interest of all concerned. Shalom.

~ Boniface Chizea

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