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Dakar - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said Nigerian families were having more children than they can afford, local media reported on Wednesday.
Jonathan said the country “must begin to think about” birth control legislation and advocacy to “encourage Nigerians to have the number of children they can manage”, during a visit to the newly-formed National Population Commission.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with 150 million residents.
It was common for families to have as many as ten or twelve children in some rural areas, Jonathan said.
“Birth control is a very sensitive thing but we must begin to think about it,” he said. “For us to plan properly we must manage our population.”
“Christians and Muslims and even traditionalists ... believe that children are God's gifts to man, so it is difficult for you to tell any Nigerian to number his children because they are gifts of God,” he added. - Sapa-dpa