Number indeed changes a whole lot of things. To understand what I mean, I will use these illustrations:
1) If you have 25 people sitting in an 18 seat Bus that is called overloading. Continuous overloading of the same bus by the driver will eventually cause quick wear and tear problem. Seats in the bus will quickly get worn out and tear, the engine and other parts of the vehicle will soon give way under the pressure of carrying more than it can bear. Overloading will also slow down the car such that it cannot move at its maximum speed. If the driver decides to over speed with too many passengers or load in the bus an accident may occur.
2) In order for a company or organization to thrive and prosper the owner(s) must plan for the number of employees, they will need to engage their services. Such plans will include how much goes for salaries; office spaces to be provided, health insurance, housing, and other benefits to motivate staff; parking space and more. No wonder then that when a company is not doing well financially or becomes less productive staff is downsized. This, of course, leaves a number of people out of job. So many companies try to work within a budget and with the number of employees they can cope with.
3) In the instance of a country, a census is carried out to determine the number of her citizens in order to be able to budget, plan and allocate resources to make life easy for members of the society.
If the above illustrations are true why then do we think that A population is just a number and nothing more?!
The population (number of people) in a family, community, village, office, country matters. Why? Because population or our number determines how and whether we will enjoy our resources and live comfortably well at least to a reasonable extent. Our number determines the number of basic amenities be provided such as houses, roads and other infrastructure. It also determines the amount of food that is needed to feed everyone or else people will starve. The more the number, the more investments to be made in various sectors such as agriculture, education/schools, health care, social welfare, jobs etc. The cost of governance goes up with increasing population.
The point of population stabilization is to reduce or minimize misery – Roger Bengston
As we celebrate another world population day come 11th July 2017, let us take seriously the issue of our growing number. According to the report of the United Nation’s 2017 Revision of World Population Prospects, Nigeria is projected to overtake the United States in population by 2050. To get a clear picture check out this calculation:
The US has 50 states and its population is currently about 326 million and projects 402million by 2050. Nigeria with 36 states is estimated to be about 182million currently. If we are to overtake the US by 2050 it means we would have grown by more than 220million in 33years while the US will have grown by just 76million.
This means that we are growing at the speed of a jet as a DEVELOPING NATION WITH SO MUCH WE ARE DEALING WITH! Can you imagine what will happen then judging by our numerous existing problems highlighted below?!
Wake up, people!
Wake up Nigeria!
The national budget of Nigeria for 2017 sums up to about N7.44trillion still many people live below the international poverty line of 1.90 dollar a day. Salaries are owed workers in many states; health facilities are ill-equipped to cater for our beaming population. There are no chairs and tables to give students an enabling environment to learn in our public schools; lecturers in higher institutions are more on strike than in school because they want to be better enumerated and also demand that world class facilities be provided in their institutions. Students also go on protests over demands for more hostels and classrooms to be built, hike in school fees. Many young people graduate every year than the labor market can handle. Our aging population is increasing every year as life expectancy is now improved. There are more dependants than the working class/those contributing to the economy. The government still has no serious welfare plan in place for any group of its vulnerable citizens.
The list of issues and problems facing us as a nation are endless. Are we going to keep pretending that these problems do not exist or handle them with kid glove?
It is time to pay attention to how to begin to solve these problems and reduce the cost of governance. It is time to plan for our collective future as a people.
We need to have a culture of working with numbers and planning ahead.
This year’s theme for the World Population Day:
Family Planning, Birth Spacing: Empowering & developing nations.
“Family Planning and Child Birth Spacing are personal decisions but their profound implications on the health, economic and social well-being of the society are far reaching”. Chief Eze Duruiheoma, SAN – Chairman National Population Commission Nigeria.
We can have a better and great country if we seriously pay attention and act now to make life better for Nigerians. Government need to invest rightly and wisely.
People need to make informed choices to live a better and meaningful life.