Demographic concern and misuse of its potential in Northern Nigeria

Sani Baba.
Sani Baba.
Demographic concern and misuse of its potential in Northern Nigeria

By Sani Babba.

Today’s piece is triggered by concern which I have over time on the population explosion in the North and the abuse of this God given potential on account of many factors.

The recent findings revealed that the youth constituted 65% of our demography, this revelation raises concern on the fundamental questions on how we can best use the population for economic growth and development, or misuse the opportunity and reap the consequences of such neglect or inaction. The issues that come to play at very embryonic stage is the roles of the constituted authorities and family institution as an embodiment of procreation of human beings, for which the piece advocates for a rethink on our process of marriage and production of children that fit the emerging challenging changes of 21st century without compromising the fundamental provisions of our major religion.


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From religious perspective, Islam enjoins its adherents to place premium on the question of responsibility and avoid taking a burden beyond the capability of the undertaker. On this premise, it cherishes good parenting that accompany the responsibility and bereft overburdened responsibility which a father shoulders.

Therefore, our production of children should reflect the need of our society under strict observant with the tenets of islam, social cohesion, prestige, human dignity and modern civilization. Quite a significant consideration should be in line with this thinking which if properly utilized can bring in a prospect in our demography and development not poverty and hunger.

The worrisome situation in our region focuses on the number of children roaming around the streets, towns and cities with their gloomy faces and the most dehumanized nature is very embarrassing to say the least.

The North accounted for the highest number of out of school children and presumed ocean of poverty, although, we have to share the blames from many folds. However, family system and marriages that brought in the kids should be first examined placing emphasis on the responsibility and ability with required correspondence financial resources to cater for their basics before thrown to society and Government.

There is need for aggressive enlightenment campaign on limiting the number of children based on the ability to provide the basics especially on those in the class of low earners while we strike a balance by encouraging those with capacity to take option of more production with required sense of responsibility to bridge the gap to enable us optimally utilize the potential which can be leveraged on in our quest to positively contribute more to the nation economy and key into the race of the emerging economy of the world like China and India.

This advocacy is best suited when we address the pros and cons of cultural undertones and selfish interpretation from few misguided Ulamas on the rearing children which accelerated the unhealthy production of children without recourse to responsibility. Most of the states in the North where Sharia is practiced should dredge deeply on the matter of social relationship, marriage and responsibility, then, legislate on these crucial matters for the betterment of our society.

The trend of children wandering towns and big cities on account of poor parenting should be decisively addressed. At the community level, our traditional rulers and religious institutions should redirect their energy on the path of these all important issues. At any rate, what we are witnessing in the act of criminalities ranging from gangsterism (YanDaba or Sara Suka), political thugs, drug abuse, phenomenon of cultism, ritual killings, the preponderance of banditry, kidnapping and unholy activities of Boko Haram can largely be traced to poor parenting, societal neglect and Government ineptitude to its core responsibility. Recall that the Northern Nigeria has what it takes to be reckon with in all facet of human endeavors given its vast arable land and resources endowment which no doubt, with the right policies and programs, the ugly trends could be reversed.

Looking at the current realities, waves and crime rate, brigandish activities and communal cleansing that are trending around and within us, we are all victims of this unfortunate event. Therefore, a constructive engagement across the spectrum of the entire region is not only needed, but it is the matter of life and death, a necessity with no option, if we are really serious in finding solution to the region which the happening is surely increasing the tide of these uncertainties on a daily basis and threatening the very chances of our corporate survival.

It is opined that the holistic and lasting solution to the nightmarish situation is a matter of collective responsibility irrespective of our ethnic and religious background, because in those days, a Northerner is always a Northerner. Thus, all the elites, religious leaders, academicians, leaders of thoughts, and youth groups should team up and chart a new course to reset the region on this rescue operation mission in order to curtail the fast precipitating state of anarchy, turmoil and chaos that is in offing and likely will consume the North in its entirety.

Baba Sarkin Fadar Makaman Kano, writes from Kano.


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