According to United Nations 2018 projection, the current population of Nigeria is estimated at 197,659,900 and is equivalent to 2.57% of the world’s population. Nigeria’s population is projected to reach 398million by the end of the year 2050, and if this current figure continues, the population of Nigeria by the year 2100 will be over 746million, meanwhile, Nigeria has one of the highest birth rates in the world with 37.3 births for every 1,000 people or an average of six children per woman meaning more than 7 million new Nigerians are born every year, making us the fastest growing nation in the world. 

The far-reaching consequences of family planning on a nation as a whole cannot be over-emphasized, and it is a key factor in our effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and getting it right can help countries meet related targets such as improved literacy among its population in the area of Education, Economic growth, as well as Health goals hence the need to increase family planning uptake.

Family planning affords a nation the opportunity to plan and regulate its population, and also, most importantly, reduce the incidence of maternal and infant mortality through healthy child spacing as evidence indicate that birth-to-pregnancy intervals of at least two years are beneficial to both mother and child as it is associated with decreased risk of neonatal and perinatal mortality, low birth weight, and preterm delivery and provides the opportunity for children and mothers to experience the benefits of optimal breastfeeding for two years. It also gives mothers enough time for their bodies to fully recover from pregnancy and replenish vital nutrients that were lost during childbirth.

A woman’s ability to decide for herself, if, and when she wants to become pregnant and how many children she wants to have, has a direct impact on her health and can delay pregnancies in young women at risks of health problems and death from early childbearing. Availing women access to preferred contraceptive methods is essential to securing their autonomy in addition to securing their well-being, and equally allows them receive preconception care that enables them to develop a reproductive life plan. Family planning also reduces the need for unsafe abortions when unintended pregnancies are avoided. It represents an opportunity for women to pursue additional education and participate in public life, including paid employment in non-family organizations. Additionally, having smaller families allows parents to invest more in each child. Children with fewer siblings tend to stay in school longer than those with many siblings.

However, in many African settings, the modern practices of contraception suffer huge setback for reasons that cut across long standing cultural/ traditional beliefs and practices; as in some traditions, it is considered a taboo to visit the hospital or any health care facility, no matter the situation. There is also fear of side effects and fear of cost of managing side effects, ignorance, desire to have many children, gender preference, non-participation of men and relevant influencers in family planning, unavailability of health care providers/ family planning services.

The significance of Family Planning cannot be overemphasized, and thus requires urgency, dedication and support from all stakeholders.