Nigeria Demographics and Population Growth Research Paper

Pages: 11 (3193 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Government  ·  Written: June 10, 2019

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
Meeting the economic needs of the populace is the major issue that needs to be addressed in Nigeria.

Population Policy

History

Nigeria’s current population policy includes promoting contraception in order to curb the fertility rate of the country. As Kazeem (2018) points out, “the modern contraceptive prevalence rate among married women increased to 9.8%—far less than the 30.2% policy target.” This approach to population policy is rooted in the concept of control more than it is in the concept of support. Part of the problem is that in Nigeria, there is no real sense of how to support a growing population or what is needed. The culture is simply not developed in terms of addressing these needs and leadership is not helpful in the matter. The nation’s approach to census taking is a perfect example of this lack of leadership. Because leaders want their own people counted more than once whenever a census is taken, the actual statistics and figures are never accurate (Etebong, 2018). This results in a false view of the population and its needs. In order to develop an effective population policy, the leaders need to develop a better understanding of who is actually in Nigeria.

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Other than these approaches to population policy, Nigeria has a very limited plan for addressing the needs of the population. Its focus is on controlling either the narrative or the population itself—and neither is really effective or working. Today, Nigeria has no effective strategy in place for addressing environmental concerns related to shifting demographics, no real economic solutions, no substantial political leadership and plan for addressing migration.

Critique

Research Paper on Nigeria Demographics and Population Growth Assignment

The problem with Nigeria’s contraceptive policy is that it goes mostly against the grain of the religious and ethnic beliefs of the Nigerian population, which is why fewer than the 10% of the population use contraception. Half of the country’s population is Christian and the other half is Muslim (Diamant, 2019), and both are traditional religious communities that do not promote the use of contraception in their core value systems. This means that Nigeria’s approach to population policy has been flawed from the start. Instead of accepting the cultural values of the populace, it has attempted to promote new cultural values that are alien to the populations that are in Nigeria. According to Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, culture has to be an important consideration in any type of policy that is created to guide and support a populace (Hofstede, 1998; Nakata, 2009). By addressing the culture of the demography of Nigeria, the government would be better able to address the demographic needs and provide a more effective approach to fixing infrastructure, providing both Muslim and Christian populations with what they require, addressing migrant issues, and creating a stronger military in which there is respect for the rule of law rather than dereliction of duty. Currently there is little respect for the rule of law in Nigeria (Diamond, 2008) and this relates to the population issues in that inculcating a sense of law and respect for law would be a better approach to policy than what Nigeria is currently attempting.

Suggestions

Foreign direct investment could be one way to help address the demographic issues, and working with neighboring Gambia to strengthen the economic stability of the region could be another (The Standard, 2018). Nigeria is already set up as an economic partner in ECOWAS, and the EU has shown interest in making Nigeria a substantial trade partner. With this kind of relationship, more investment in Nigeria could follow and that would help the nation to create a population policy that actually addresses the needs of the community rather than serves as a tool for the government to try to control or limit the population—a tool that does not ultimately work.

The key policy measure that should be used to guide the policy towards population is one that considers what the population actually wants. A population policy should reflect the cares and considerations of the population. After all, the state is there to serve the populace not the populace to serve the state. The populace, no matter how big it grows, has to be supported—not undermined. The population policy regarding the promotion of contraception is one that seeks to undermine the cultural and core value systems of the two main ethnic communities in the nation—the Muslim community and the Christian community—both of whom are thoroughly traditional in their approaches to sex and sexuality. Both traditionally view sex as a procreative act, and to introduce contraception into the state and expect it to be embraced is to expect the two traditional communities to suddenly reject their own core values and principles. This is a flawed approach to population policy at best.

A better approach would be to support the needs of the communities. The Muslim community clearly has its own core values aside from sending women to school for education. Therefore, the state should find a way to support this community and assist it in upholding its core values by conducting surveys to see what the community wants in terms of a working infrastructure, economic development, community needs and so on. The same should go for the Christian communities. The challenge here will be that these communities can intertwine and can live in the same regions, though in many cases they will also already be segregated and on their own.

To understand what policy approach should best be implemented, it is therefore important to conduct an accurate census that is free of political corruption. Every political faction will want to sway the census so that it reflects the faction as being greater than it may actually be. Therefore, it is important to have a government that is willing and capable of looking at the reality of the situation in Nigeria and delivering an accurate census.

To achieve the accurate census and to obtain a working model of who is actually in the population of Nigeria, the government should be ideologically indifferent to political and cultural aims and influences. It should survey the populaces to see what sort of core values they want to promote and the government should then incorporate the common ground among those core values into its official population policy. This means that attempting to control the population through contraception will likely be abandoned. A better approach to regulating the population growth, if such is desired, would be through the regulation and flow of migration into the country. As Nigeria is the most important state in Africa, it is looked upon as the place to go by unhappy neighbors in other states. To control migration, the state needs to secure its borders, and to do that it needs to have some sort of cultural unity in terms of how it approaches the populace.

The best approach therefore is for the state to survey the population and to understand who and what groups it needs to support the most. It needs to recognize the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within its own population. In other words, the government needs to conduct a SWOT analysis of its own population and then harness the strengths of its communities and develop competencies or find ways to work around weaknesses. It has to identify opportunities for development so that the culture that can be the most supportive and constructive will have the opportunity to grow organically and develop. If there is a need for housing, for example, the Christian and Muslim populations may be able to provide it through charitable organizations that aim to assist those in need. As both cultures embrace this type of activity it should not be difficult to work with these groups and develop a plan of support that will allow the population to be served rather than controlled.

In this manner, Nigeria will be able to have a strong, growing population that will be economically viable and supportive, while also seeing that the needs of the population—whether they are shelter, food, education, or security—are all met through the government’s collaboration with the communities that make up the majority of the state’s population. There can be no successful policy plan without a recognition of the dominant cultures within the state. The policy should reflect the values of the populace. The policy should not set about placing on the population its own set of standards and rules. The best approach for the government to take would be for it to authorize the communities to develop plans at a local level to serve their populations accordingly. This would allow for organic solutions to be found that can have economic, social and political viability for the long term. Growth is not threatened by population; it is threatened by lack of cultural development and integration. That is what Nigeria’s leaders need to realize and recognize in their policy plan development. The sooner they recognize this fact, the better off the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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