Maybe Nigeria should introduce a polygamy tax to help address the almajiri problem

By Ayo Akinfe

(1) Over recent weeks we have been reading countless reports about how the almajiris might spread the coronavirus across Nigeria, making it spiral out of control. Nobody appears to have come up with a solution to the problem so far

(2) According to Unicef, there are 9.5m almajiris in Nigeria. Street urchins with no hope whatsoever who will either end up as beggars, criminals or at worst terrorists

(3) Nigeria currently has a population of 200m and the United Nations projects that by 2050, Nigeria will become the third most populous nation on earth with 401m people

(4) About 63% of the Nigerian population is under 24 and that figure is growing. If Nigeria was investing in her youth, we would have the most explosive economy in the world over the next 20 years

(5) In Japan, the average age is 47, as is the case in Germany, while in Nigeria it is 18. In the UK it is 40, it is 38 in the US, 37 in China, 32 in Brazil, 30 in Indonesia, 28 in India. As you can see, we have an unprecedented advantage when it comes to the future

(6) I do not subscribe to the concept of over-population because human beings produce more than they consume. If you want to double the size of your GDP overnight, the easiest way to do it is to double your population

(7) If you look at the growth of the US economy, you will notice that between 1831 and 1840, immigration more than quadrupled to a total of 599,000. Between 1841 and 1850, immigration nearly tripled again, totaling 1,713,000 immigrants, including at least 781,000 Irish, 435,000 Germans, 267,000 British, and 77,000 French. It was during these periods that the US enjoyed unprecedented economic growth

(8) Under number circumstances, Nigeria’s economy should be growing in relation to the growth of her population but alas, this almajiri phenomenon has turned that theory on its head. There is no state programme to put them to productive use so they end up being kidnappers and canon fodder for Fulani herdsmen murderers and Boko Haram

(9) I think we thus need to curb their growth with a polygamy tax. If a man has to pay say a 20% tax for every extra wife he marries, it may just curb uncontrolled procreation

(10) If our state governors are told that tax will come to them, they will collect it with a gusto. Nigeria cannot fold her hands and do nothing about this problem, so over to you National Assembly