Overpopulation has long been identified as a major impairment to Nigeria’s economic growth and inability to provide basic amenities that will make lives better for citizens.
It has also partly been blamed for the country’s grim health indices, including high maternal and child deaths and HIV/AIDS prevalence.
Several estimates, including that of the National Population Commission, pitch Nigeria’s population at about 200 million, a number expected to double in less than 25 years if Nigerian women continue to reproduce at the current rate.
The Nigerian government had foreseen a population crisis almost a decade ago and identified Family Planning (FP) as a watershed to slowdown the burgeoning population and reduce the high maternal and child mortality rate.
The country, however, failed to meet a global pledge it made along other countries in 2012 to achieve a modern contraceptive prevalence rate (MCPR) of 27 per cent among all women by 2020.
At the dawn of the deadline, FP2020 target indicators show that the country currently has only 13.9 per cent MCPR for all women.
This means that one in four married women aged 15-49 still has an unmet need for modern contraception.
It also indicates that about 15.7 million sexually active women in Nigeria who want to avoid pregnancy, as well as sexually transmitted diseases, will still find it very difficult to do so.
Partly mined from interviews with health experts, PREMIUM TIMES enumerates five factors that have hindered family planning progress in Nigeria: