Low-income earners like market women, Okada riders, taxi drivers, Vulcanizers, cleaners and so on have more children than they can cater for.
Not too long ago an Okada man picked me up while on my way to the office. We got talking about the economy and how life can be difficult. I asked him about his family and he said that he had two wives and 7 children or more …I can’t really remember the number now. I didn’t want to alarm him but I quickly calculated how much he earns doing his Okada business.
It will not be enough to care for his large family. I then asked him about whether his children were enrolled in a school at least a government school. Well, he said he was trying his best to send them to school.
I shook my head and wondered if the circle of poverty will ever end in his family. If he can’t equip his children with the required skill and education to put them on a better pedestal in life then they all remain a struggling poor generation. This should not be so and can be stopped.
Do you know that those in the upper class and even middle class have fewer children? Imagine a man/woman is a multi-billion naira/dollar business owner and has only two children or four. These children will have more money than they can spend and if they are properly groomed and disciplined they will keep multiplying that money!
The Way Forward
I will say, educate as many people as you can about the need to raise a family commensurate to their income and ability. I have people who work for me like my housekeeper, and I also meet others like our mechanic, petty trade shop owner on my street. Hopefully, I can keep educating them about this “suicide” mission of having a large family with little or no money.
One way to end the circle of poverty among low income earners is to educate them about benefits of planning their families and having only the number of children they can cater for.
In my experience some of these people don’t know that they have a choice in the matter; they don’t know that there is something they can do about it.
Benefits of FP
• Mothers can rest between births and therefore are healthier
• Children born can receive proper care and nutrition while they develop. It is difficult taking care of a 3 months old baby when the mother becomes pregnant too soon.
• Income can be managed better with fewer mouths to feed
• Children can go to school and attain higher education.
• Fathers and mothers can have less stress in managing the resources of their family.
• Fewer fights in the family when the resources can go round.
Adebisi Adetunji ©