•Ranks world highest in under 5 mortality rate
By Emmanuel Elebeke
The World Bank says 43% of Nigerian girls get married before they turn 18 years which stalls the chances of attaining their full potentials.
It also said Nigeria ranks highest in terms of under five mortality rate in the world.
This was disclosed at the launch of Policy Note by World Bank yesterday in Abuja tagged:Supporting Adolescent Girls to Kick-Start the Stalled Demographic Transition and Harness the Demographic Dividends in Nigeria.
Presenting the policy note, Samik Abdukarim of World Bank, said less than 10% of Nigerian secondary school female finish secondary schools and attend up to higher education as a result of cultural and religious practices, particularly in the Northern part of the country.
Other factors he listed include: High poverty rate in the country and lack of resources, which according to him push young girls into early marriage and high teenage pregnancy.
This development, Abdulkarim said stalls demographic tradition and dividend Process in Nigeria.
Also, he said the trend further exacerbate the poverty ratio in the country and that dependent rate will also continue to go higher as human capital development continues to suffer.
Demographic dividends is the economic benefits accrue by a country when it undergoes a rapid declining mortality rate for a rapid declining birth rate, resulting to small and healthier families and ready to address the labour market.
According to him, some of the states in the Northern region of Nigeria have continued to push this figure up, making the country to rank highest in the world.
“Advancement in medical sciences leads to decline in death rate, increase in adult longevity and child survival second stage. Several studies from Nigeria have shown very strong link between declining in fertility rate with increase in economic growth. Fertility in one child can lead to 29% increase income per capital by 2050.
According to the report, Nigeria is one of only 4 countries in the region that has total fertility rate that is higher than 5% and stalled demographic dividend, which is less than 5% per year in the last two decades.
Similarly, one of the key consequences is that Nigeria will continue to have a large number of young dependants in the population in the next 30 years.
The implication is that by 2050, Nigeria will have I out of 5 young people within the working age population compared to other countries.
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