Demographic Dynamics and the Attainment of Democratic Development: The Case of Nigeria

Egharevba, Matthew Etinosa, Imhonopi, David


The discourse on demography, democracy and development issues is an inclusive one that focuses on the need to create a human environment where the quality of life of the people is greatly enhanced. Today, the measurement of progress on the development agenda, as encapsulated by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Human Development Index (HDI), goes beyond economic indicators (such as economic growth, per capita income), to include both political and social indicators. This paper argues that the real challenge of development in Africa is not the size of its population and/or resource endowments, but the poor management and politicization of its demographic dynamics captured by census data as well as adopting economic and social policies that ultimately leave the people far behind for whom development is meant. Furthermore, the paper contends that the failure of political leaders and policy makers at all levels of governance in Nigeria to pay adequate attention to the generation of quality demographic data, upon which relevant policy interventions and decisions are framed to address the problems of poverty, inequality, fertility, mortality, youth unemployment and illiteracy, negatively impact the chances for effective poverty reduction, infrastructural provision, security and reproductive health. This paper concludes that for countries in Africa, particularly Nigeria, to attain the status of a democratic developmental state and deliver on the much-anticipated ‘demographic dividends’, the leaders must exercise the political will to invest massively in human capital and develop a reservoir of reliable demographic data that will address the socioeconomic conditions of their citizens, including the monitoring and evaluation of development plans and programs.

Keywords: Welfare, Development, Governance, Census, Population.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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