1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The world population is becoming progressively urban so as to accommodate urban population inflow and to promote development, better planning and effective management is needed (UN Habitat, 2009). The population of Nigeria federation is growing at a rate of 3.75% per year indicating a doubling of the population every 23 years (Lagos State Government, 2007). The area under investigation is infested with incidence of decay and deterioration, while supporting an over sized population irrespective of its small land mass (9.0km²). Population is central to the belief of all societal aspirations. It is in itself the object and subject of all productive activities that propel transformation of human surroundings and usher sustainable development in the long run. Throughout human history, the world’s population had grown slowly and by the beginning of the 20th century were only 1.6 billion people. Today, after about 115 years, the world’s population has surpassed 7.1 billion individuals. During this time, the world has witnessed tremendous development—including innovations in education, infrastructure, health care and technology—but more than 2 billion people in Nigeria still live in poverty and remain left out of this progress. The great challenge leaders of the Nigerian government face today is to reduce poverty and inequity, and improve people’s lives without compromising the environment and the well-being of future generations. At the same time, world population continues to grow by more than 80 million individuals a year, with most of the growth occurring in the world’s least developed countries. By 2050, according to the United Nation’s medium projection, the world’s population will increase to 9.6 billion people and will continue to grow through 2100 (United Nations, 2010). This continued growth has strong implications for well-being, health, and economic development. Leaders of nations everywhere must ask themselves: How does population growth affect national development and what must be done to manage the challenges of overpopulation? Over Population creates highly unfavourable circumstances for economic development and puts pressure on available resources. Social type capital like housing, health services, educational facilities, water supply, transportation, electricity among others is not sufficient for the urban centres (Oduwaye, 2009). As long as the population grows and the community retain certain pull factors which are stronger than the push factor, the community will grow and expand its geographical coverage. The housing conditions, drainage and sewage system is in a deplorable state and therefore calls for an engineered effort to remedy the existing situation. In an effort to meet the housing needs and demands of the growing population, inhabitants end up settling in overcrowded areas, these are regions that are too small to support them, this affects their state of health and livelihood. This paper is focused on enhancing awareness on the threats of rapid population growth, promoting proper management of socio economic variables as they relate to population and development. The paper is aimed at promoting knowledge thereby, encouraging best practices to control population growth in an effort to reduce the pressure on available social and environmental resources.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Over the years, high population rate, which have obvious negative impacts on any nation’s economy, have starred grimly at the face of our country Nigeria. Hitherto, writers have emphasized the negative impacts of high population on economic growth which include: cancellation of average output of the economy by high population; low and stagnant average income; pressure on: agricultural land, food, employment creation, urban housing, space, standard of living, access to quality education, health facilities and other infrastructure; scarcities; economic hardship; malnutrition and high death rate. This provoked high death rate will in turn; balance-off the high population. This shows that there exists an inherent reverse mechanism in the long run. Today many couples in underdeveloped countries have more children than they desire or have mistimed pregnancies. In developing countries like Nigeria, more than 220 million women want to space their next birth, or stop having children, but are not using a modern method of family planning. And this does not produce desired outcome; more especially where their husbands are adamantly uncooperative. These have obvious implications on population growth. Unintended pregnancies contribute to high fertility and population growth, which shape the size and age structure of a nation’s population, and determine the demand for social services and natural resources as well as the size of the labour force. These factors affect the scale of development challenges and the strategies and investments required to manage them. Most leaders understand that development strategies depend on sustained investments in health care, education, employment, and natural resources. However, rapid population growth in many developing countries like Nigeria threatens to undermine these investments and exacerbate the challenges of poverty, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, gender discrimination, and job creation. It also puts pressure on agricultural land, fresh water, and energy resources. It is consequent upon the above that this writer sought to appraise the effect of population explosion on the socio economic development of Nigeria.
1.3. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to evaluate the impact of overpopulation on the socioeconomic development of Nigeria. Other specific objectives are as follows;
1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no impact of overpopulation on the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant impact of overpopulation on the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
H0: There is no significant relationship between population growth and socio- economic development in Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant relationship between population growth and socio- economic development in Nigeria.
1.6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Population growth is one of the key factors to the economic growth and development of any country. There are diverse opinions on the consequences of population on economic growth, so this study will contribute to the knowledge base and offer information about Jimeta, Yola North L.G.A. There are very few studies on the subject with respect to Jimeta, Yola North L.G.A so it will provide information to the scholars and policy makers. In this study I will show how the increase in population will affect the economic growth and development and can provide useful information on some important variables and so that policy may be devised in light of those findings and can enhance economic growth. The information from the study is also useful for private as well as public sector in designing such programs and projects which can help bring a balance between population growth and economic growth. This study provides information about the causes of overpopulation. It also helps the researcher and readers to know whether socio-cultural practices and beliefs have led parents to support more children. The study also helps to ascertain whether overpopulation has effect on the economy and to what extent it has affected the economy. It enlightens the researcher on how to solve the problems associated with overpopulation in Adamawa State. Finally, this study is significant in the sense that people would become familiar with the causes of population study and also the derivable benefits associated with them.
1.7. SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the impact of overpopulation on the socioeconomic development of Nigeria. (A Case Study of Jimeta Yola North L.G.A, Adamawa State)
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Impact: A possible future effect or result, something that is suggested without being said directly. The fact, state of being involved in or connected to something.
Economic: The theories, principles, and models that deal with how the market process works. It attempts to explain how wealth is created and distributed in communities, how people allocate resources that are scarce and have many alternative uses, and other such matters that arise in dealing with human wants and their satisfaction.
Development: The process of economic and social transformation that is based on complex cultural and environmental factors and their interactions.
Socio economic: (Also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how societies progress, stagnate, or regress because of their local or regional economy, or the global economy.
Overpopulation: Overpopulation occurs when a species' population exceeds the carrying capacity of its ecological niche. It can result from an increase in births (fertility rate), a decline in the mortality rate, an increase in immigration, or an unsustainable biome and depletion of resources. Moreover, it means that if there are too many people in the same habitat, people are limiting available resources to survive.
Population: It refers to a collection of humans Demography is a social science which entails the statistical study of human populations. Population in simpler terms is the number of people in a city or town, region, country or world; population is usually determined by a process called census (a process of collecting, analyzing, compiling and publishing data)
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