Senator calls for population control to reduce poverty in Nigeria

Nigerian Senate
The Chamber of the Nigerian Senate

“What’s our population control policy? Does anybody care how many children we have? Does anybody care how many we ought to have? How many children make up an economy functional, nobody cares. So, we all talk about issues to avoid what is truly important, population control policy.”

Those were the words of Ben Murray-Bruce as he addressed his colleagues at the Senate plenary on Wednesday.

Mr Murray-Bruce was contributing to a motion calling for the creation of jobs to avoid a violent revolution by poor Nigerians.

The mover of the motion, Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu-PDP), said the myriads of security problems facing the country today are as a result of poverty.

He warned that the poor will soon revolt against the rich if a drastic measure is not taken.

Contributing, Mr Murray-Bruce said Nigeria needs to spend more on education apart from population control.

“We don’t need to be as draconian as China where they have the one-child policy. But the one-child policy in China stabilised the Chinese economy. Muslims and Christians will criticise me for my position but unless the government have a population control policy; one, we cannot solve the problem. Two, we must spend more money on education,” he said.

The lawmaker’s submission is informed by current statistics from the United Nations Population Fund.

The agency late April said that Nigeria’s population has risen to 201 million people.

Mr Murray-Bruce warned the rich against providing security for only themselves, thinking they are safe. As the second solution, he maintained that standard education must be provided for the poor.

He made an analogy of how overpopulation is contributing to Nigeria’s woes.

“We think having babies is equivalent to wealth, success, development. This is counter-productive. Here we are today, we are having babies, we are not educating our children, we are not giving them jobs. They have no future and because they have no future, they carry guns and knives, point it at you and take you out because they see you in a beautiful car.”

He said the surge in population is not a problem of only the north but a phenomenon that cuts across the country.

For him, the feared revolution is already here.

“We are faced with a revolution that is here. We are not talking about a revolution that is coming, the revolution is here,” he concluded.

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