VLADIMIR Putin, President of Russia has announced a series of plans to urge parents into having more children in the country.
On Wednesday during his 16th annual address to Russia’s parliament, the Duma, he told lawmakers that there was an urgent need for the average birth rate at under 1.5 per woman to raise to at least 1.7 within the next four years reported the BBC
“Russia’s fate and its historical outlook depend on how many of us there are,” Putin said.
As part of its initiative to encourage families, the president had promised tax breaks for bigger families, Although “maternity capital” is paid to families with at least two children.
While mothers with four children already have some tax breaks in Russia, a country that has a birth rate of 1.48, the “EU average is 1.59 births per woman and several states including Spain, Italy, Greece, and Malta are well below the Russian figure.”
Unfortunately, it is no news that several Eastern European states are struggling with a declining birth rate.
With the Russian population at 146.8 million (including Crimea), Putin described it as a “very difficult demographic period” in which the children of the 1990s were now themselves giving birth.
Towing in the same line as Russian, Viktor Orban, Hungary’s right-wing nationalist Prime Minister, last week, announced plans for free fertility treatment to couples as well as possible income tax exemptions for mothers with three or more children.
However, Nigeria with an estimated population of 206.1 million and its gloom position as the world poverty capital was ranked the third country globally with 26,039 number of births after India with a world highest record of 67,385 followed by China at 46,299 in 2020 according to UNICEF.
Unlike Russia that have plans of providing welfare benefits to be paid for children aged three to seven in low-income families, including free school meals provision for four years, Nigeria has only signed into law a new finance bill that would increase the rate of Value Added Tax and due to corruption-related issues have failed to implement a school feeding project in the country.