This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Population Explosion - NPC Seeks Trial of Randy Men

Men who cannot control their libido, especially those whose pastime is running after teenage girls, may soon start to regret their actions. Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC), Chief Festus Odimegwu, Wednesday called for the prosecution of such randy men, whom he accused of swelling the nation's population by impregnating teenagers.

Odimegwu, represented by the Cross River State commissioner in the NPC, Mr. Idi Baba Yakubu, on the occasion of the 2013 World Population Day, accused such men of sexually harassing teenage girls and impregnating them.

According to him, the time has come for government to institute stiffer penalties for such sexual offences as a demographic survey shows that adolescent fertility in Nigeria in 2008 stood at 121 per 1,000 live births.

This figure, he noted, is on the high side considering that other African countries have drastically reduced adolescent fertility rate, adding that the Nigerian fertility figures went haywire as a result of teenage girls being harassed sexually by deviant men.

He explained that such incidence has often times led to unwanted pregnancies, which in turn lead to population explosion. But he added that with draconian measures, such deviant behaviours would become outdated, as the current two-year jail term was not enough deterrence.

Odimegwu added that if government was interested in addressing the problems, it should map out strategies that would reduce poverty among adolescent girls to the barest minimum.

He tasked the federal and state governments on the implementation of policies that would bar teenagers from child bearing until they attain 20 years of age.

He said such measures would free the nation from the negative impacts associated with early childbirth, which include unsafe abortion, pregnancy complications, poor antenatal care, weak pelvic bones, high fertility rate, curtailment of educational attainment and unsafe marital life.

Odimegwu also enumerated the factors responsible for the increase in teenage pregnancy to include poverty, sexual abuse, ignorance, hawking, cultural and religious beliefs and lack of parental guidance.

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