A discourse on overpopulation

A Professor of Social Studies, Comfort Onifade, has urged Nigerians to be mindful of their environment and the number of children they would have in order to curb overpopulation in the country and the world at large. Prof. Onifade while reflecting on this year’s World Population Day, said the day was set aside by the United Nations Organisation (UNO) to celebrate the population of the world and to bring to fore, the danger of overpopulation. She said failure to avoid the pitfalls of overpopulation is an invitation to poverty and stunted national advancement that does no one any good.

“Without data, you cannot have effective policy framework for people to thrive and for the government to know what and what the people need”, she added. The don noted that “the country’s population is something of concern”, saying Nigerians should be mindful of the fact that “there is not enough resources to cater for overpopulation. Women should be mindful of the children they will give birth to and consider the ones they can take care of”. She stressed that there are some religions and cultures that did not believe in family planning, adding that “overpopulation leads to the problem of space, health, and increase in crime in society”.

Prof. Onifade, however, reiterated that “there is the need for better education for both boys and girls in order for them to contribute to the development of the country, adding that the government should create an enabling environment for the youth, especially in the rural areas, to stem rural-urban drifting. She added, “We need to empower women economically to safeguard them and let them have something to do that won’t make them over-dependence on their husbands, they would also be able to acquire what will make them earn a living to make their home a better place”.

World Population Day is observed to raise awareness about global population issues. The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989. The celebration aims to increase people’s awareness on various population issues such as the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights. The day offers opportunity to discuss various aspects such as reproductive health, family planning, gender equality, and sustainable development by emphasising the importance of responsible population management and access to healthcare and education for all. This awareness is necessary to avoid making nations become overpopulated due to its attendant challenges.

The day also brings to the fore, the need to address poverty, food security, and environmental sustainability, and through education, advocacy, and policy initiatives, this day serves as a reminder of the collective responsibility to ensure a balanced and prosperous future for humanity. Meanwhile, the theme for this year is, “Unleashing the power of gender equality: Uplifting the voices of women and girls to unlock our world’s infinite possibilities”. In a related development, a marriage counsellor has advised Nigerian youths to take their time in knowing more about their partners during courtship in order to have a successful marriage.

This piece of advice was given by a Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Oluseyi Anjorin, who noted that while it is good to look at physical attributes of a partner, however, warned that both physical and spiritual compatibility are equally important. “Marriage is beyond physical attraction, the character of the person you want to get married to is much more important”, he said. He observed that problems in marriage normally begin from the choice prospective that lovers make while in courtship, stressing that to last in marriage takes more than love and people need to know their partners well before making a decision.

“When you don’t get it right from the beginning, violence would set into the marriage later”, he added. “There is no perfect marriage anywhere, it is both partners involved that will work it out”. Dr. Anjorin advised youths to marry their friends, be patient, learn to know their partners well, and should not rush, for them to have a successful marriage. “Money has a lot to play in today’s relationship unlike before. There is no place of being patient in today’s relationship. As a youth, you must look at the potentials of your partner rather than money they can give”, he said.

In the final analysis, concerted efforts should be made to ensure that we have the population that is commensurate with available resources for the people and the nation to prosper. To bring this into fruition, the government and other stakeholders should remember to shun sentiments and make sure that only the number of children that can be adequately taken care of are raised by people. This is where family upbringing comes in because the family is where the society springs from. Before marriage, intending couples have been advised to understand each other very well and to have the right number of children they can take proper care of. No doubt, adhering to this counsel would promote healthy lifestyle, family, and certainly, the country at large.