Dehai News

NIgeria's demographic trap

Posted by: The Conversation Global

Date: Monday, 26 October 2020


Seventy out of every 100 Nigerians are under the age of 30. Ordinarily, this should be good news and a massive boost to the country’s productivity. However, that has not been the case. For instance, 64 out of every 100 unemployed people in Nigeria are under the age of 30, according to recent unemployment data. This explains why, beyond the campaign to end police brutality, the #EndSARS protests have other underlining factors. Adejuwon Soyinka asked Uche Isiugo-Abanihe, Professor of Demography and Dr. Funke Fayehun, senior lecturer and population scientist, both at the University of Ibadan, to unpack these issues.

Youthfulness will continue to be a defining demographic feature of Nigeria. This is because of its high fertility rate - especially among the poor and in the poorest parts of the country. This makes it impossible for the government to attain its development agenda as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals. This includes eradicating poverty and inequality, combating hunger and malnutrition, expanding employment and educational enrolment and health care. Uche Isiugo-Abanihe explains how the combination of high fertility and declining mortality puts Nigeria in a “demographic trap”.

Adejuwon Soyinka

Regional Editor West Africa

Young Nigerians display placards in support of the ongoing protests against police brutality. Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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