Fierce debate in House of Reps over motion to check population growth rate

Posted by News Express | 25 November 2015 | 3,190 times

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A motion seeking to enact a law that will curb the rate of population growth in Nigeria led to a passionate debate in the House of Representatives.

A lawmaker raised the issue at Tuesday’s plenary, saying that Nigeria is under pressure from its growth rate which adds about five million people to the country’s population annually.

Honourable Babatunde Kolawole said that Nigeria must come up with an action plan to check the growing population.

“There is concern that unbridled population growth puts pressure on the country’s finances and infrastructure, especially food, housing, education and healthcare. It is also a catalyst for high unemployment, poverty, crime and others,” he said.

But one of his colleagues opposed the motion on religious ground, which led to a debate on the floor.

Even though some lawmakers supported the motion, those against it were more passionate.

Honourable Balarabe Salame said that Muslims were directed by Prophet Mohammed to marry up to four wives and that it was recommended that every Muslim could give birth to as many as they could.

“The moment you are a Muslim you must believe that you are free to born as many as you want,” Mr Salame said.

Honourable Idris Ahmed, however, pointed out that birth control was allowed in Islam, but argued that Japan had the same population with Nigeria and half the landmass of Nigeria. He said the nation had been able to effectively utilise their resources for the good of all.

He further stated that the problem with Nigeria was the inability of those in government to apply the resources as it should be.

To lay the issue to rest for further future debate, the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, said that the issue was about policy, which would be developed by Nigerians.

He referred the matter to the Committee on Justice, Committee on Rules and Business and the House Committee on Population to take a deep look at issues raised and advise him on how to proceed.

The House will have to wait for the committees to submit their position before a decision can be taken on the motion.

•Photo shows Speaker Dogara.

Source: News Express

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