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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Doctor of Philosophy
Title Analysis of fertility dynamics in Nigeria: exploration into fertility preference implementation
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2007
URL http://wiredspace.wits.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10539/5259/PhD Thesis submitted_Latifat​Ibisomi_0411802R_Doc3.pdf?sequence=4
Fertility transition is obviously on in Sub-Saharan Africa although fertility rates in the
region are still considerably higher than in any other regions of the world (Cohen, 1993;
Mboup and Saha, 1998; Makinwa-Adebusoye, 2001). The transition is however not
uniform in the region as there is wide variation in the fertility rates among the countries.
For instance, the demographic and health surveys (DHS) conducted between 1998 and
2003 shows that: total fertility rate (TFR) was 2.9 in South Africa; 4.0 in Zimbabwe; 4.4
in Ghana; 5.7 in Nigeria and 6.8, 6.9 and 7.2 in Mali, Uganda and Niger respectively
(Measuredhs, 2007).
The region’s growth rate is 2.6% per annum and accompanied by a decline in economic
growth. This is perceived not to be a good prospect for sustainable development in the
region (World Bank, 1994; USAID, 2004). An encouraging trend however has been the
strengthening of political commitment to population-related policies and family planning
programmes by many of the governments (UNFPA, 2004). This has the potential to
catalyse fertility transition and allow the balancing and integration of population issues
with other development-related ones.
The revised National Policy on Population for sustainable Development in Nigeria (2004)
takes into account the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development
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(ICPD) Programme of Action (UNFPA, 2007). The overall goal of the policy is the
improvement of the quality of life and the standards of living of the people of Nigeria.
Some of the specific goals include: (1) progress towards a complete demographic
transition to reasonable birth rates and low death rates (2) to expand access and coverage
and improve the quality of reproductive and sexual health care services to all Nigerians at
every stage of the life cycle (3) to enhance the involvement of men in reproductive health
programmes and health care (4) to use effective advocacy to promote and accelerate
attitudinal change towards population and reproductive health issues (Federal
Government of Nigeria, 2004).
National policies on reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, women, and youth exist in the
country and programmes (such as the National Economic Empowerment and
Development Strategy (NEEDS) to eradicate poverty) are further being developed to
operationalise the policies at both national and local levels. Development partners are
also supporting the government in building technical capacity for the operationalisation
of the various policies. For instance, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is
engaged in advocacy and policy dialogue to mobilize support for population programme,
including the improvement of reproductive health services. The body is also supporting
the implementation of existing reproductive health and rights policies (UNFPA, 2007).
In Nigeria as in most Sub-Sahara African countries, fertility has been declining since the
mid 1970s (Feyisetan & Bankole, 2002). However, little is known about the dynamics of
the factors that have brought about the change. This study examines fertility dynamics in
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Nigeria between 1990 and 2003 with a view to knowing whether and how socioeconomic
changes have affected it in the last decade. The study gives an overview of the
levels, trend, differential and proximate determinants of fertility during the period. It
specifically estimates the extent to which people have been able to implement their
fertility preferences in the country as well as the contribution of this to fertility changes
within the period. How couples’ attitudes and preferences impact on each other towards
achieving desired fertility preferences is also examined.

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