Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan urges birth control

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan President Goodluck Jonathan said birth control was a sensitive issue

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Nigerians should limit the number of children they are having, according to the country's leader.

President Goodluck Jonathan said people were having too many children, and went on to back birth control measures.

He said that in particular, uneducated people were having too many children, and urged people to only have as many children as they could afford.

The United Nations has estimated that the population of Nigeria could grow from 160m to 400m by 2050.

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and previous attempts to encourage adults to have fewer children have failed.

BBC Nigeria correspondent Will Ross says population growth is increasing pressure on the land which is a major trigger of violence in the country.

Mr Jonathan said legislation and policies aimed at controlling the number of births might be considered in future.

He said he had asked the National Population Commission to inform people about birth control before taking the issue further.

The president acknowledged that the issue was a sensitive one, saying: "We are extremely religious people... It is a very sensitive thing."

Mr Jonathan was quoted as saying: "Both Christians and Muslims, and even traditionalist and all the other religions, believe that children are God's gifts to man.

"So it is difficult for you to tell any Nigerian to number their children because... it is not expected to reject God's gifts."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    Birth control is one of humanities best inventions. Not only are women able to control when we get pregnant but the health benefits can be amazing. Religious and conservative groups to often hijack any conversation on birth control, ignoring how many conditions birth control can treat or cure. Birth control has made women's (and men's!) lives for the better!

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    It is a good idea that Nigerians should regulate birth rate, but Nigerian government should also improve health care, social well fare of the people and security. When these things are looked into, other things like birth rate control will fall in place. Africans value children, families will keep giving birth because they are not sure how many will survive. Take care of BokoHaram & Corruption 1st

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    Legislation is unlikely to help especially as there are religious adherents who will view this as an infrigement on their religious liberties. Also, with the dismal and corrupt performance of the Nigerian government, this will most likely be subverted. The real focus should be prudent management of resources, provision of good education, healthcare, judiciary, security and regulatory environment.

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    Gift from God, yes. However, God equipped each human a brain so that he/she can think about how this "gift", which doesn't just "appear" out of nowhere, will impact one's life. God helps those who help themselves. It's about individual responsibility. Gov't should educate people, but gov't can't hold everybody's hand as that's a slippery slope to totalitarianism.


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