I really want to know what you think about this one:

I was listening to the World Have Your Say podcast on the BBC website a few days ago. The topic of discussion was: How many children are too many children? (Link is only temporary). Guess where they shot the program? Lagos Island Maternity Hospital – go figure! They are not-so-subtly telling us something about the Nigerian population.

Source

Anyway, this topic stemmed from the much discussed 7 billion population mark the world achieved recently. The presenter gathered a few women who had just given birth as well as a doctor and a nurse and a listener posed a few questions. I found them entertaining (considering the Nigerian way of thinking) and would like to throw them to you. I have paraphrased them, of course.

  1. Did you consider the impact on the nation’s economy when you planned to have children?
  2. Did you consider the impact on the country’s resources when you planned to have children? Do you think there a moral obligation on you to have fewer children because of scarce natural resources like energy, water e.t.c?
  3. Did you consider the Nation’s population growth when you decided to have children?

Interestingly, someone wrote into the show and stated: I think more than 2 kids per family is irresponsible. 2 kids per family is fair, two kids to take their parent’s spot in the world.  

I consider myself an educated Nigerian and I cannot say that I would ever have considered these questions when planning to have children. My biggest worry would be my ability to financially cater for the number of children that I plan to have. As a Nigerian, I assume I am able to capably emotionally cater for them. I may think about the nation’s population but because the country is already somewhat expensive to live in and rear children, any urge to generously contribute to that figure would have been naturally curtailed.

Your take?

14 Comments

9jaFOODie

I definitely think we need a nationally set limit per household in Nigeria. I think 2 kids per family, I would say one but then the child might be lonely.

Reply
ade

Ok let me declare these are the types of issues I have to deal with for work so I have considered them. In the case of Nigeria, we have to think practically of what the nation can afford – we have had massive population growth since independence from under 50million to over 160 million (estimate at 168million). We cannot educate all those children, feed them and give them jobs. We need to develop the country, we need to stabilise the economy – we cannot keep on having 5.4 children and hoping that somewhere in that plan something won’t have to give..

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mikki

If I didn t already know their stand point I would love to hear the Duggar Family answer and discuss some of the questions and points listed above.
2 children?
This couple has 20… I cant even begin to describe my feelings on this…
:-(

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Chuks boy

My belief is this, the amount of children you should have is your responsibility (since 9ja doesnt have a quota) provided yu can adequately take care of all there needs. If your can train 5 kids to become future leaders wouldn’t it be better than training 2 future leaders?

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Efe

Why in the world do we need to tell people how many kids they should have?
If they can afford their children, let them have it. Fertility is the backbone of a nation, look at the western nation that have dramatically reduced their population. Now they’re begging women not to have children.
And what’s this we can’t educate them stuff. It is the responsibility of the parent to educate their child, not society. Parents are the first educators. Parents are the first everything for a child. Let’s stop looking to government or society to raise our children.
As for the Duggars it’s nobody’s business abeg. Dem born 20? So what? They very well provide for their kids and their kids are very well behaved compared to kids who come from smaller families. How can someone be pissed off at a woman for having children, what has the world come to?
There is no such thing as too many children, if a couple can afford to have kids they should have them. If they can’t they shouldn’t simple, it’s nobody’s business.

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Efe

Also please we do not have limited resources, we have an incompetent government. The resources have been there for milleniums, they’re not going anywhere.

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Eka

From what I’ve seen, people who are practical about how many children they can afford typically don’t have too many of them. Poverty, literacy, a couple’s religious and cultural values all play a role in determining how many children they choose to have. I think people should be enlightened to weigh their financial capabilities vis a vis the number of children they plan to have. It doesn’t make sense if you are an okada rider to have 7 children. Rich or poor, I certainly wouldn’t want anyone telling me how many kids I can have, that’s for sure.

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Toxbunny

You would only think that we all personally educate our children if you are someone who went to a private school – government run schools are (at least in theory) paid for by us all, and therefore, in conjunction with healthcare etc need to be budgeted for as a nation. The truth is that at some point, land to build even your own home will run out if we don’t try to control our population. China had a similar issue, put in a one child policy and then however many yrs later are still struggling to control population but also have a generation that have had proper care from focused parents and leaders and more productive citizens. Each society has it ills o and China surely isn’t perfect, but at least they think ahead…

Resources are limited- fact. Its only responsible to manage resources. To me, that means not wasting electricity, water, food and also taking control of your fertility – plan to have the number of children you can adequately care for. And buy life and healthcare insurance policies too, because things change…

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Ogo

Hmmm, okay, I’ll bite!

I’m Naija but raised abroad. I’m one of five and growing up my family really struggled! :( The stories I could tell, but now that I’m grown (<25) and educated and expect that my future husband will be as well, I plan on having 4! Or, no less than six! ;-) Like Efe said, it is not for anyone to tell me how many I should have! I have common sense so let the people with commonsense have more than the foolish people! I think ppl should think seriously about educating their children but two. Only two? No, my friend, it is neva dat way! (lol)

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olubukola

I think it depends on what your table can accomodate.No matter how large or spacious your table is in Nigeria,I think Max of 4.but for me o.2 is good irrespective of sex.

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Kunle

I have a three year old boy. After a recent holiday abroad with wifey and him the question of how many kids to have was answered in a hurry. If children could be born at age 6 or 8, I would have 4…but as things be so…

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jenn

The irony of life is that those who can perfectly afford to have as many children as they want are the ones who want 2 max while those who have no business having more than 1 are the ones who give birth to football squads. I have 2 kids. I have been blessed with a healthy boy and girl. And i would love to have more cos i love children. But i am also smart enough to know that it goes beyond being able to afford to have these children. It is also about quality of life. My husband and i have fairly good jobs, thank God. But we also want our kids to have better lives than our parents gave us. We both come from comfortable enlightened homes and our parents were able to afford quality education for us.As a kid, my family travelled abroad every other year for vacations, we went to good schools and even were afforded the opportunity to further our postgraduate studies abroad. But times are so different now. In secondary school, my fees were never more than 700 naira. Even in my final year in Medical school, my fees were 6000 naira. And this was the 90s and early 00s by the way. My son’s nursery school fees run in the hundreds of thousands. Having and raising a child today is incredibly financially draining. I went to a good school so i want nothing less for my children. I lived in a comfortable home so i want the same for my kids too. And isnt that one of the cornerstones of being a good parent; to give your kids an even better life than the one you have? Also what if circumstances change tomorrow and you or your spouse are no longer able to contribute financially? What happens to the children? Its important to take a lot of factors into consideration and make a selfless decision when having kids. Its not just about you, its also about them.

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