Nigeria Has Announced a New Policy to Reduce its Fertility Rate

Can Nigeria’s new policy protect abortion rights?

On Thursday, 03 February 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari announced the revised National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development in Abuja. ‘The policy emphasizes the urgency to address Nigeria’s sustained high fertility rate through expanding access to modern family planning, counselling, and commodities as well as promote births spacing,’ President Buhari said.

Many experts believe the revised policy will be beneficial for Nigeria. According to, United Nations Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator, Mathias Schmale, ‘The successful implementation of the National Policy will very likely have positive implications for maternal health development, youth, and adolescent rights and the empowerment of women and the girl child.’

Nigeria’s population is the largest in Africa and the seventh largest in the world. With an increasing fertility rate, Nigeria’s population is driven by a young population. People under the age of 30 account for 72 per cent of Nigeria’s population, and half of Nigeria’s female population are in their reproductive years. However, only 12 per cent of Nigerian women use modern contraceptives while over 83 per cent do not use any form (modern or traditional) of contraceptives at all.

According to the UN, Nigeria’s population is estimated to be over 214 million people as of today. The UN expects this figure to increase to 400 million by 2050 which will make Nigeria the third most populous country in the world. As of 2019, Nigeria’s fertility rate was 5.3 children per woman. Currently, the Nigerian government has a target of achieving a modern contraceptive rate of 27 per cent among all women by 2024

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