The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative, Ulla Mueller, says the attainment of eight billion world population is a significant milestone in human development in areas such as medicine, science, health, agriculture and education.
She said at a forum in Abuja on Sunday, July 9, 2023, that the achievement is, however, accompanied by concerns and anxiety as the world faces various crises, such as climate change and mass displacement.
The UNFPA in its 2023 State of World Population (SWOP) Report, an annual publication produced by the Fund, revealed that global population will hit eight billion by mid-2023.
The report, which was launched in June, provides an insight into global population trends and implications to development.
According to a new report by the UN, Nigeria’s population is estimated to rise to 223.8 million by mid-2023 from 216 million in 2022.
The SWOP Report, which highlights the rapid growth of Nigeria’s population, notes that in 2006 when the last census was conducted, the country’s population was put at 180 million.
It indicated that the population, aged 0 to 14, increased by 43 per cent, the population aged 10 to 19 increased by 23 per cent, those aged 10 to 24 increased by 33 per cent, 15 to 64 years increased by 54 per cent, while those aged 65 and above increased by three per cent.
Mueller, therefore, explained that the 2023 UNFPA SWOP Report — “8 Billion Lives, Infinite Possibilities: The Case for Rights and Choices’’ — aims to reshape the conventional understanding of population figures.
She urged policymakers and the media to abandon sensational narratives about population booms and busts.
The country representative said the report is an annual flagship publication of the Fund since 1978, aimed at bringing population issues, growth and demographic shifts to global attention.
The report is also to explore challenges and opportunities they present for international, regional, national and sub-national development so as not to leave anyone behind.
In the report, she said, recommendations are proposed to enhance the health, wellbeing and rights of individuals and communities across the globe.