Finance is a field that deals with the study of investments. It includes the dynamics of assets and liabilities over time under conditions of different degrees of uncertainty and risk. Finance can also be defined as the science of money management. Finance aims to price assets based on their risk level and their expected rate of return.

Continue reading



Nigeria’s economy is in recession. The contraction in GDP intensified in Q2, dragged down by depressed oil prices, falling oil production, a lack of foreign currency, and fuel and power shortages. In Q3, business confidence fell to an unprecedented low in September and the PMI was depressed in August and September.

Continue reading



Adult education is a practice in which adults engage in systematic and sustained self–educating activities in order to gain new forms of knowledge, skills, attitudes, or values. It can mean any form of learning adults engage in beyond traditional schooling, encompassing basic literacy to personal fulfillment as a lifelong learner.

Continue reading


National development refers to the ability of a nation to improve the lives of its citizens. Measures of improvement may be material, such as an increase in the gross domestic product, or social, such as literacy rates and availability of healthcare. Across the globe, women constitute a very significant and indispensable portion of the population. No wonder in recent time, women all the world have come to positive focus. Although a few countries, especially the developed ones, have appreciated and empowered to a large extent their women in order to play their roles and contribute their own quota to the development of their societies, many others, especially the developing countries have not appreciate fully the important roles women can play in the transformation of their countries when empowered. According to Orucha (2003: 34) the progress and development of any nation is the women in the society. Thus the women represent a tool for positive change, depending on how they are treated and the levels of opportunities given to them to actualise their potentials. The declaration of 1978 by United Nations’ Organisation as the international year of women as well as decade for women, and the Beijing declaration of 1991 are positive focus towards the emancipation of women. These declarations also show the important place of women in national development and transformation.
National development is the ability of a country or countries to improve the welfare of the people by providing social amenities, like quality education, potable water, transportation, infrastructure, medical care, creating conducive political atmosphere and participation of citizens etc.
In Nigeria, the numerical strength of the women have been considered to be of great potentials that are necessary for the evolution of a new economy and good governance that accelerates social and political development. This, it is assumed could transform the society into a better one. According to the Nigerian population census of 1999, the country’s population stands at 140 million, out of which 80.2 of them are women and girls (Gender in Nigeria Report: 2012: 45-48). Thus, over the years, scholars have emphasised on the importance of empowering women for National development. But one important ingredient for achieving this is through women education. Investing in women and girls child education as enumerated in Gender in Nigeria Report: 2012, will increase productivity in this generation and will promote sustainable growth, peace and better health for the next generation. However, statistics show that this important ingredient is missing in Nigeria. The Report (British Council, Nigeria) show that though much have been achieved in the area of primary education, the gender gap still widen in secondary and tertiary institutions. For example, as at 2008, the enrolment ratio between boys and girls was 68 to 59 (boys to girls respectively). The enrolment ratio for girls in secondary school is 22 and boys 29. All these statistics point to the fact that a lot is still required in terms of educating the women for them to participate and contribute their quota to national development.
The Role of Women in National Development in Nigeria
The role of women in national development cannot be over emphasised. Their contributions permeate all facets of the nation’s economy. Women constitute an indispensable group in the development process of any nation.
Analysts believe that Nigeria with a population of around 140 million and huge population of women has the potential to transmute from a poverty stricken nation to a vibrant economy. Women in Nigeria are crucial beyond certain customary duties and procreation efforts. They have the potential of turning an ailing economy at the family, local, state or national levels, through their inbreed economic strength, organisational skills and single minded focus to surmount obstacles posed by the environment, culture and stronger partners (the men) (Akosile,2010: 30)
The steady advancement of women in contributing to the socio economic development of the nation’s scheme of affairs have to a large extent impacted on the federal government and the federal government have responded positively in many ways. For instance, the late Maryam Babangida (First lady of Nigeria 1985 – 1998) was active in promoting gender related issues and interests during her husband’s tenure as Head of State of Nigeria. Also the subsequent creation of National Commission for Women and the Ministerial post for Women Affairs provided additional avenue for the promotion of women related issues and the enhancement of the role of women to national development by way of statutory body and ministry.
Awe (1990 9-13) sees the importance of women from their roles as peace and stability at home depends largely on the managerial abilities of women. She further stressed that the women, especially the mothers plan, organise, direct and coordinate all resources at home to the benefit of all members of the family. Effective management of the home promotes national development. But wherever this is lacking, the reverse is usually the case (Lasiele, 1999: 132).
In the agricultural sector, women have made significant contribution to food production and processing. As far back as the early 1980s, the United Nation’s report reveals that 60 – 90 percent of the agricultural labour force was women and they produce two-third of the food crops.
Olawoye (1985: 18-23) describes Nigerian women as a crucial factor of producing. To him they assume this status because they are largely responsible for the bulk production of crops, agro-based food processing, presentation of crops and distribution of yields from farm centres to urban areas.
Yet in spite of these, widespread assumption that men and not the women make the key farm management decision had prevailed. Sadly, female farmers in the country were among the voiceless, especially with respect to influencing agricultural policies. Their role in decision making process in agriculture has not been widely employed or at best, remains minimal.
Damisa and Yohanna (2007:141-145) using Zaria in Kaduna state, examine the level of participation of rural women in decision making in different areas of agriculture and studied factors influencing their participation in the decision making process in farm management they found that women’s participation in decision making was quite minimal. In each of thefarm operations less than 20 percent of the women were consulted, except in the sourcing of farm credit; where about 28 percent were consulted: about 13 percent or less of the women has their opinion considered in each of the farm operations. However, only 1.0 percent and 2.5 percent took the final decision in all of the farm operations. Women’s participation in farm management decision making process is said to increase with age, older women participating more in decision making in the different areas of agriculture than their younger age group counterparts. The high level of known and experience about improved farm practices acquired by the educated women farmers had positive influence in that regard. Wealth status of women is also another major determinant of the role of women in farm management decision making: Richer women being more involved than their poorer counterparts. A report by NAERLS (2000:23) indicates that women in Anambra state of Nigeria contribute more than the men in terms of labour input in farming and are solely responsible for household management duties. In studies elsewhere in Nigeria involving the Jukun people, Nomadic Fulani and Kulka women farmers,
Women occupy a very significant and decisive place in the social, cultural, economic and political life of Nigeria. Their importance is evident both in modern and traditional sectors, not only as housewives and mothers in society a para-eminent role, but also by their contribution to the quality of day to day life. Nigeria being predominantly an agricultural country, most of the people live in rural areas. Farming is the primary occupation that determines the rhythm of economic life. In such an environment people live modestly, dedicating themselves mostly to traditional occupation.
Women constitute an indispensable force in the quest for national development of any nation. In the developed nations, women have been able to play this important role. However, in Nigeria, women are still relegated to the background as they lack the educational, economic and political power necessary to actualize their innate potentials. The paper examines the important place of women education in the empowerment of women to enable them contribute their quota to national development. The study relied solely on secondary data and this was analysed using content analysis. The paper shows that women access to education is still low as the gender disparity in the enrolment of women into primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions is widening over the years. These problems are further compounded by the high rate of girls’ dropout and failure among women that sat for ‘O’ Level examination. The implication is that many of them lacked the required minimum numbers of credits that qualify them to enrol or get admission into the tertiary institutions.

Aderigbagbe O.G (2004). Gender Disparity in Nigeria Educational
System: Focus in Teacher Education in Nigeria. Journal of Research and Production Vol. 5 (3)
Agu, S.O (2007. Gender Equality, Education and Women
Empowerment: The Nigerian Challenge: Multi Disciplinary Journal of Research Development, Vol. 8, (2)
Agu, S.O (1994). Equality and Inequality of Educational
Opportunities; the Nigeria Case, In Ozuz, C.N and Okonkwo, C.E (Ed) Sociology of Education
Akosile, A (2010). “Nigeria: Women Empowerment-Pivot For
National Growth” [Online] Available: Africafiles Http://Www.Africafiles.Org/Article.Asp
Attoe, S.A.E (2002). “Women in the development of Nigeria since
pre-colonial times” [Online] Available: Online Community Portal of Nigeria
Awe, B (1990). The Role of women in management in the 90’s
Journal of Management in Nigeria 26(6)
Babangida M (1989). A Welcome Address by the First Lady at the
Opening Ceremony of a 4-Day Workshop to Prepare a Blueprint on Women Education
British Council Nigeria (2012). Improving the Lives of Girls and
Women in Nigeria: Issues Policies Action 2nd Edition, Gender in Nigeria Report 2012


Nigeria covering a total of 923768km along the West African Gulf of Guinea is an important centre of biodiversity of tropical rainforest, coastal plains, mangrove and the Savannah zones geographically with a population of about 150 million people. The fact also remain that the country is mono-economy based in petroleum oil generating over 80% of the nation’s foreign exchange and employing very low labor force as the agricultural sector which the predominant occupation of Nigerians.
Tourism in Nigeria is still in its infancy considering the large accumulation of resources which are yet untapped and the institutional structure which is yet to be regulated to compete favorably with other fast growing tourism destinations (Ahiante, B. 2003). Successive governments have tried in their very best to put the industry in the national economic map but sector could not meet up with the exclusive listing. Even though rich in ecotourism and business tourism potentials and constrained by figurative and factual analysis to plan development, the political will and legislation are far from regulating the industry to keep abreast with both the national tourism policy and master plan implementation program in line with the United Nations Framework on sustainable tourism development efforts

The Nigerian Police (NP) is the principal law enforcement agency in Nigeria with staff strength of about 371,800. There are currently plans to increase the force to 650,000, adding 280,000 new recruits to the existing 370,000. The NP is a very large organization consisting of 36 commands grouped into 12 zones and 7 administrative organs. The agency is currently headed by IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris.
Some of the roles of the police especially the Nigeria police as cultural tourists management institution can be outline and discuss below;
The Police as an institution have played a very vital role in preventing harassment and misbehavior, control and discourage criminal activities against tourists.
The Police as an institution play an important role in not only ensuring the safety of the visitors and but also in making their visit.

The Police as an institution register complaints of the Tourist and to provide police report in case of theft or loss of items. they also create safety environment mainly in tourist areas.
Some other roles of the Police as cultural tourist management institution include;
• To provide information regarding security aspect of tourists.
• To respond promptly to problems or complaints of tourists.
• To try our best to provide a hassle free trip by keeping away tourists from hawkers, beggars and street children.
• To assist tourists wherever and whenever they need us.
• To inspect (supervise) over hotel, travel, trekking & rafting agencies in case of other proven.
• To patrol in tourism areas for safety environment.
• To control unlicensed tourist guides.
• To forward tourist related criminal cases for legal procedure to district police office, consulting with concerned embassy.
• To provide tourism related information
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has witnessed series of changes since it was extracted from the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in 1958. The Immigration Department, as it was known then, was entrusted with the core immigration duties under the headship of the Chief Federal Immigration Officer (CFIO). The department in its emergent stage inherited the Immigration Ordinance of 1958 for its operation. At inception, the department had a narrow operational scope and maintained a low profile and simple approach in attaining the desired goals and objectives of the government. During this period, only the Visa and Business Sections were set up.
On August 1st, 1963, Immigration Department came of age when it was formally established by an Act of Parliament (Cap 171, Laws of the Federation Nigeria ). The head of the department then was the Director of Immigration. Thus, the first set of Immigration officers were former NPF Officers. It became a department under the control and supervision of the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs (FMIA ) as a Civil Service outfit.
Some of the roles of the immigration departments in the world especially the Nigerian immigration services as cultural tourists management institution can be outline and discuss below;
• Assists local and international law enforcement agencies in securing the tranquility of the state against foreigners whose presence or stay may be deemed threats to national security, public safety, public morals and public health and;

• Acts as chief repository of all immigration records pertaining to entry, temporary sojourn, admission, residence and departure of all foreigners in the country.
Some other roles includes
• Regulation of the entry (arrival), stay (sojourn), and exit (departure) of foreign nationals in the country;
• Monitoring of the entry and exit of tourist in compliance with international tourist laws and other legal procedures;
• Issuance of immigration documents and identification certifications on non-immigrant, immigrant and special non-immigrant visas;

• Extension of stay of temporary visitors and implementation of changes of status as provided by law;

• Administrative determination of citizenship and related status;
• Investigation, hearing, decision and execution of orders pertaining to exclusion, deportation, and repatriation of foreign nationals;
• Investigation, arrests and detention of foreigners/tourist in violation of immigration regulation and other Nigerian laws; 

Safety and security are vital to providing quality in tourism. More than any other economic activity, the success or failure of a tourism destination depends on being able to provide a safe and secure environment for visitors (Aduko, S. 1991), This was highly evident in the aftermath of the tragic events of 11th September 2001, these where the roles of the police and the immigration come. By its very nature, tourism is a global and intensely competitive industry. Although inherently vulnerable to economic crises, natural disasters and outbreaks of warfare and epidemics, international tourism has shown remarkable resilience in recovering from the adverse effects of such negative, but short-term, factors. However, not only does the consumer have to spend relatively large amount of his/her disposable income to buy the tourism product, he also perceives it in a subjective and experiential manner. As a result, tourism is highly sensitive to perceptions of danger and lack of safety and security (Akande, F. 2002), It is in this context that lack of safety and security and incidences of crime represent a more serious threat to travel and tourism than any other negative factor.

Aduko, S. (1991), Images of People and Nations Through the Mass
Media,” Public Relation Journal (the Quarterly Publication of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations), Vol. 1. No.1. 23-28.
Ahiante, B. (2003), “Building and Sustaining Corporae Reputation”,
Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (Abuja Chapter) Journal: 12-20.
Akande, F. (2002), International Public Relations Management,
Lagos: Star Lake Publishers.
Akande, F. (1999), In-Road Into Public Relations, Lagos: FEST
Communications Coampany Limited.


Violence against women is defined by the United Nations defines as “any act of gender based violence that results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty whether occurring in public or in private life.”
Women have continued to be victims of violence in this country particularly with the insurgency in the North-East. Violence against women does not only violate their human rights but also subjects them to a whole lot of short term and long term problems.
The murder of women and girls, incessant abductions, sexual violence especially rape, and domestic violence among others calls for concern as the country joined the rest of the world on Tuesday November 25 to mark this year’s International Day of Violence Against Women and also kick start the 16 days of activism on violence against women. The 16 Days campaign runs from November 25, International Day of Violence Against Women to December 10 which is the International Human Rights Day to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights.

A Pandemic in Nigeria; Violence against women
Violence against vulnerable persons, including women, is prevalent in Nigeria. In addition to physical, sexual and emotional abuse, many women in Nigeria experience female genital mutilation/circumcision, forceful ejection from home, and other harmful traditional practices stemming from long-held cultural beliefs. Section 55 of the penal code (applicable in Northern Nigeria) legalises corrective beating of a child, pupil, servant or wife as long as this does not cause grievous bodily harm. A 2012 report by the British Council stated that violence has become endemic in some public institutions including the police force and schools. Sexual harassment, including demanding sexual favours in return for employment or grades, is considered to be widespread.
Almost every one of the obstetricians surveyed in a study on the causes and management of violence against women said they had managed a case of violence, with the husband as perpetrator in an estimated 70 percent of cases. Spousal rape is often overlooked or tolerated and yet to be codified as a criminal offence in Nigeria.
The 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey showed women who are divorced, separated or widowed are far more likely to have experienced physical violence than other women with 44 percent of them reporting experiences of violence since age 15, compared with 25 percent of women who are married or living with their male partners, and 33 percnt of never married women. It also showed that women in urban areas are more likely than their rural counterparts to report having experienced physical violence. Although regional variation is stark, with 52 percent of women in the South-South reporting gender based violence compared to 13 percent in the North West, the low rate of reporting in the North is likely due to under-reporting.
Given the prevalence and intensity of violence against women and girls, it is not surprising that many are calling it a pandemic, equal in concern to HIV and malaria in Nigeria.
Despite this, the legal and judicial systems provide women with little protection against violence. While rape is punishable by life imprisonment in Nigeria, the laborious process of proving rape, the pain and shame of reliving the experience coupled with societal pressure to keep silent, victim blaming, and stigma, often dissuade women from reporting sexual violence. The police often dismiss cases of domestic violence as a ‘family affair’ and are reluctant to intervene even if the woman has sustained serious injury. Customary law offers even less protection. Under sharia, a husband can withdraw maintenance if his wife refuses sexual intercourse and a woman alleging rape must produce four witnesses. A 2010 Africa for Women’s Rights report reported that if the rape is not proved, a woman can be punished for adultery with a prison sentence or flogging.
This reality highlights the need for legal reforms and access to justice for women whose rights have been violated. Some states have laws in place to address domestic violence, such as the The Prohibition Against Domestic Violence Law No 15, 2007 of Lagos State and the Gender-Based Violation (Prohibition) Law, 2011 of Ekiti State. But, until the VAPP Act, there was no federal law specifically addressing sexual harassment and domestic violence in Nigeria.
Role Of The Nigeria Government And Civil Society In Ensuring Women Justice
The Nigeria government and civil society groups has put in place numerous measures to help safe guide the rights of women suffering from violence and some can be outline below.
-enactment of the violence prohibition act
-jail terms for persons caugth violating the rights of women
-fair hearing on all domestic violence against women
-free access to lawyers for all women violated
The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act
The Act is the result of 14 years of activism by civil society. Starting just after the transition to democracy with the formation of the Legislative Advocacy Coalition against Violence against Women (LACVAW) in 2001, activists have consistently pushed for national legislation prohibiting violence against women. The content of the Act is home grown, reflecting the realities of violence in Nigeria today, even as it incorporates provisions based on Nigeria’s commitment to international human rights principles. First presented to the House of Representatives in May 2002, the Bill on Violence Against Women became a Bill on Violence Against Persons in 2008 when it was harmonised with 8 other Bills on gender based violence in the National Assembly. It took another seven years for it to become law.
Under the newly enacted law, spousal battery, forceful ejection from home, forced financial dependence or economic abuse, harmful widowhood practices, female circumcision or genital mutilation, harmful traditional practices, substance attacks such as acid baths, political violence and violence by state actors (especially government security forces) are offences. Victims and survivors of violence are entitled to comprehensive medical, psychological, social and legal assistance by accredited service providers and government agencies, with their identities protected during court cases. The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) is named as the service provider.

Female population accounted for more than half of Nigerian population and they experienced gender based social injustices that prevented full exploration of their potentials. One of these social injustices is domestic violence against women. The problem of violence against women in Nigeria had not been given adequate attention both at the individual and government levels. This article did a general review of the present state of situation as regards domestic violence against women in an African sub-culture society like Nigeria. It explored the religious influences vis-à-vis the gender roles imposed on women by African culture and practices and the role of Nigerian government so far. It also proposed the way forward in mitigating domestic violence against women in Nigeria.

“Domestic violence”. Punch. Retrieved 2013-09-21.

“Entrenched Epidemic: Wife-Beatings in Africa”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-04.

“CULTURAL BELIEFS FUEL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE”. Daily Trust. Archived from the original on September 26, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-21.

“Why fewer men are beating their wives”. Standard. Retrieved 2013-10-05.

CLEEN Foundation. “National Crime Victimazation Surveys”. 2013.

“Nigeria.” Social Institutions & Gender Index. Social Institutions & Gender Index, n.d. Web. 01 May 2016.

Noah, Yusuf. “Incidence and Dimension of Violence Against Women in the Nigerian Society”. Centrepoint Journal, 2000.

“Eradicating domestic violence in Nigeria (1/2)”. Daily Times. Archived from the original on November 18, 2012. Retrieved 2013-09-21.


The school system in Nigeria is often influenced by the constant changes that are occurring within the political institutions. The ability of the stakeholders and actors within the educational system to adapt to the organizational changes has attracted attention in the last decade. Currently, there is controversy as to the nature, pattern and methods of training teachers in the country. At the centre of the controversy is the confusion over the role of the educational administrators in secondary schools.
Teaching involves the use of wide body of knowledge about the subject being taught. Teachers at all levels of the educational system are very important in the overall development of any nation. Teachers’ education is the process which nurtures prospective teachers and updates qualified teachers’ knowledge and skills in the form of continuous professional development. It is on this basis that the educational administrators play several roles in teacher education in Nigeria. The previous processes and stages of professional development of teachers constitute the concept of teacher training and/or teacher education. In fact, there has been a long standing and ongoing debate about the most appropriate term to describe teacher education and educational administrators.

Challenges Facing teaching Profession in Nigeria
Teachers at all levels in Nigeria are yet to take their rightful position. This perhaps explains the popular slogan, “Teachers’ reward is in heaven”, meaning, they are not being well remunerated or respected for their painstaking efforts and services. Their take home pay is below standards the world over, while there is gross under funding for education. These challenges and many others have left the teaching profession in a less desirable state. But, and as if that was not enough, it has contributed in no small way to the fallen standard of our education.
The challenges notwithstanding, the teaching profession remains rewardable and honourable. It is true that teachers may not live in affluence like the politicians, but you can be sure of a decent, satisfying and fulfilling life; depending on you anyway. You sure need to be focused, love your work with passion, be hard working and have a strong desire for career progression. As a degree holder, don’t remain at that level, go ahead and obtain your Masters and even Doctorate degree. No doubt, this will take you to places beyond your dream, opening up more opportunities for you.

The teacher stands out as one the most important factors determining the quality of education and its contributions to national development. At every level people who go to school look on the teacher for the acquisition of the necessary skills to enable them become what they want to be. Thus, students often look on the personal qualities, their educational qualities and professional competence which are rewarding to the learners. It is on this note that the role of educational administrators in assisting teachers to help students achieve the objective of instructions in their various fields of endeavor stands paramount and a challenge in the 21st century. How should the teacher present himself in order to get his message across? How can he communicate effectively in the class? Under what kind of environment can the message get across? What pedagogical approaches are effective? These among other question are of interest not only to students and teachers but also to school administrators (Onuoha, 1975).

Ajayi, K (1997): Breaking the barriers to full professionalization of
teaching in Nigeria by the year 2010 and beyond, Studies in Educational planning and Administration (1); 1-9
Amaele, S. and Amaele, P.E. (2003): Teacher education in
\contemporary Society. Ogbomosho: Bobolink Media Print.
Garrison, R.H and Noreen, E.W. (2003); Managerial accounting.
(10th edition). New York: McGraw hill Inc.
Onuoha (1975): teaching professions in Nigeria and challenges of
the 21st century.


In just a few decades the world’s population will hit nine billion, leading to the essential question: Can this many humans survive and try to improve their lives without depleting the planet? here are too many people demanding too much from the earth! The world’s human population is currently increasing by about 90 million people a year. All these new arrivals require food, energy, clean water, sanitation, clothing, housing, schooling, healthcare and employment. This, plus the waste and pollution they produce, puts a greater strain on the environment and squeezes other species into zoos and small areas of parkland.
The population is growing at a rate that cannot be sustained! We do not have the environmental resources to cope with the standard of living, which people in developed countries are accustomed to and which those in developing countries aspire to. We are currently increasing the world population at rates that are outstripping any reasonable expectation of maintaining, or improving, our requirements for living. The issue is not just about the number of people, but also how this number relates to the consumption of available resources.
In 1999 the world’s human population was 6 billion. It is growing at a rate of 1.9% per year, in comparison with 0.8% per year prior to 1950. Between 1950 and 1987 it doubled from 2.5 to 5 billion. In 1950 there was an addition of 50 million people per year to the world. In 1975 this had increased to 72 million and by 1992 it had further increased to 93 million people per year. For perspective, this means the combined populations of the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Greece are added to the global population each year; 386,921 people each day or 269 people every minute! The United Nation estimates that in 2050, the world population could range from 7.9 to 10.9 billion, depending on the actions we take today.
The poorest countries have the fastest growth rates with over 90% of population growth occurring in developing countries. This will result in a massive shift in the geo-political balance. Developed countries which made up one third of the world population in 1950, now constitute less than a quarter and will dwindle down to only 13% by the year 2100.
Increasing population is partially caused by people living longer due to improved food, health care and sanitation. Over the past 30 years life expectancy has increased by 30 years in East Asia and 15 years in Africa. However, family planning is not accessible to between 300 and 400 million couples.
In the developed world, increasing populations are growing at a slower rate than in previous decades. Between 1950 and 1990, the population increased by 43%, compared with 150% in developing countries. AIDS has not had a significant impact on population growth.
Population growth results in:
1. Poverty – Countries have to spend more of their resources on importing food.
2. Unemployment – More people have to compete for jobs and there is a fall in wages.
3. Environmental destruction – Each year an area the size of Austria and Belgium combined is cleared for new farms, and huge areas are being turned into deserts because of over-use by people and grazing animals. Even the most sustainable methods of land management are unable to cope with the demands of an ever growing population. The number of people living in countries where cultivated land is critically scarce is projected to increase to between 600 and 986 million in 2025. Today over 1.8 billion people live in countries with critically low levels of forest cover. By 2025 this could nearly double to 3 billion

Obviously the earth cannot continue indefinitely to sustain population growth at the current rate. How many people can it support? Ecologists have often made use of the concept of carrying capacity in addressing the pressures that populations put on their environments. Carrying capacity is simply the largest number of any given species that a habitat can support indefinitely.
Primary Productivity of the Earth
One way of analyzing carrying capacity of the earth is to calculate its net primary productivity (NPP). This is the total amount of solar energy converted into biochemical energy through plant photosynthesis, minus the energy needed by those plants for their own life processes. It represents the total food resource on earth.
It has been calculated that, prior to human impact, NPP was about 150 billion tons of organic matter per year. By deforestation and other forms of destruction of vegetation, humans have destroyed about 12% of the terrestrial NPP, and now directly use (for food and fiber) or co-opt (by converting productive land to other uses) an additional 27%. Thus we have already appropriated about 40% of the terrestrial food supply, leaving only 60% for the other terrestrial plants and animals. You might conclude from this that we are at 40% of the carrying capacity and that the theoretical maximum human population would therefore be 2.5x the current level i.e. 2.5×5.9 = 15 billion, a number that will be reached within the next century if present trends continue. This is the number the earth could support if all of the plant growth on earth were used to support the human population, and if we were not also limited by waste buildup and non-renewable resources. It assumes that we forget about conserving biological diversity for its own sake, forget about preserving any natural habitat, and forget about saving natural ecosystems for the many benefits they provide (like producing oxygen, preventing CO2 buildup, cleansing water supplies, etc.). If we set aside enough of the earth’s primary productivity for these other essential purposes, then the predicted carrying capacity for humans is much less than 15 billion; in fact, probably less than the current population.
Another way of looking at global capacity is to examine the degree to which humans already dominate the Earth’s ecosystems. Estimates indicate that:
we have already transformed or degraded 39-50% of the Earth’s land surface (agriculture, urban).
we use 8% of the primary productivity of the oceans (25% for upwelling areas and 35% for temperate continental shelf areas).
we have increased atmospheric CO2 concentration by 30%
we use more than half of the accessible surface fresh water
over 50% of terrestrial nitrogen fixation is caused by human activity (use of nitrogen fertilizer, planting of nitrogen-fixing crops, release of reactive nitrogen from fossil fuels into the atmosphere)
on many islands, more than half of plant species have been introduced by man; on continental areas the fraction is 20% or more
about 20% of bird species have become extinct in the past 200 years, almost all of them because of human activity
22% of marine fisheries are overexploited or depleted, 44% more are at the limit of exploitation
70% of the earth’s surface is covered by oceans, and the oceans provide a significant fraction of total primary productivity. Most of the conversion of inorganic compounds (such as carbon dioxide and water) into organic material is done by the phytoplankton: microscopic drifting plants that exist everywhere in the oceans and are the primary source of food for all of the higher levels of the food chain. The phytoplankton gives the ocean its blue/green color, and so measurements of that color can be used to estimate the amount of phytoplankton. This is the rationale behind NASA’s Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) carried on a satellite that was launched in 1978 and worked until 1986. The first image shows cumulative results from imaging over the entire period, and the next image shows results from September 97 to August 98. Green indicates high concentrations, and red indicates very high concentrations of phytoplankton, revealing differences in the productivity of different regions. The North Atlantic and North Pacific are large areas of high productivity, and there are regions of very high productivity along the coasts and at areas of upwelling where extra nutrients are brought to the surface.
Calculations have been done of the amount of Primary Productivity that is required to support fisheries. The results show that humans use about 8% of the primary production of the oceans, but that the fraction is more than 25% for upwelling areas and 35% for temperate continental shelf areas.
Declining per capita Resources and Productivity
Another way to analyze the global situation is to examine the resources on which we depend and try to estimate how much we can increase their productivity:
Fisheries. The estimate of 20% increase in fish catch was made before the alarming decline in Atlantic Cod and other major fisheries. Nine of the seventeen major fishing areas of the world are in serious decline, and all of them have either reached or exceeded their limits. So the predicted increase of 20%, and per capita decline of 10%, is based on some imaginary improvement in fisheries management, and is probably unrealistic.
Irrigated land – accounts for 17% of cropland but contributes more than a third of the global harvest. Predicted per capita change is -12%.
Cropland. Between 1980 and 1990, cropland area worldwide expanded by 2%. It is unlikely that it could be expanded any more quickly, given that the areas already taken are the ones that are easiest to cultivate, and given that land is being rapidly lost to various kinds of development. The optimistic estimate is that cropland could be increased by 5% over the 20yr period shown on the table. This will mean the conversion of huge areas of South America and Africa to agriculture, at a very high environmental price. Given the predicted 33% increase in population, even this increase represents a decline of 21% in cropland per person.
Rangeland and Pasture. Similar calculations show a decline of 22% (and about 20% of this area is declining in productivity because of overgrazing).
Forests. Due to a combination of deforestation and population growth, the per capita change in forests is -30%!
All of these statistics show that we are already stretching these resources to the limit, and that the 33% increase in population will be very difficult to accommodate.

As the century begins, natural resources are under increasing pressure, threatening public health and development. Water shortages, soil exhaustion, loss of forests, air and water pollution, and degradation of coastlines afflict many areas. As the world’s population grows, improving living standards without destroying the environment is a global challenge.
We’ve been on a big growth spurt during the past century or so. In 1900, demographers had the world’s population at 1.6 billion, in 1950 it was about 2.5 billion, by 2000 it was more than 6 billion. Now, there are about 7.2 billion of us.
In recent years we’ve been adding about a billion people every 12 or 13 years or so. Precisely how many of us are here right now is also a matter of debate, depending on whom you consult: The United Nations offers a range of current population figures and trends, the U.S. Census Bureau has its own estimate, and the Population Reference Bureau also tracks us.

Commoner, B. 1980. Poverty breeds overpopulation, in I. Vogeler
and A. DeSouza (eds.): Dialectics of Development, Rowman and Allanheld.
de Mesa, J., T. Gisbert, and C. D. Mesa Gisbert. 1999. Historia de
Bolivia. La Paz, Bolivia: Editorial Gisbert y CIA S.A. Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc., October
16, 2008. Available from
Ehrlich, P. 1968. The Population Bomb. New York: Ballantine.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2009.
World Review: Current agricultural situation – facts and figures. Available from (accessed 12 February 2009).