Nigeria’s population to grow by four million yearly – FG

By Editor on 29/08/2018

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Udo Udoma
Udo Udoma

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma (SAN), has said Nigeria’s population will rise by four million every year.

He, therefore, stated that there was an urgent need to curb the growth rate and ultimately reduce poverty.

Udoma said this while delivering his speech at the 58th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in Abuja on Tuesday.

Speaking at the event with the theme, ‘Transition, Transformation and Sustainable Institutions’, the minister said  China was able to reduce poverty and boost its economy by checking its population.

He said while he would not recommend the Chinese approach of one-child policy, there was a need for Nigeria to adopt an approach that would suit its own reality.

Udoma said, “We need national support for measures that can help to moderate rather rapid rates of population growth. Current estimates suggest that we may be adding over four million people to our population every year.

“This is the size of many large cities. Indeed, it is the size of some smaller African countries. As the Chinese have shown, managing population growth is an important part of any strategy to achieve sustainable economic development.

“In this strategy, 46 points of the Economic and Recovery Growth Plan gives responsibility to my ministry together with the Ministry of Health to develop policies to help manage our rate of population growth.”

Also speaking at the conference, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) blamed past administrations for the problems in the Lagos ports.

Osinbajo, who was a discussant at the programme, said this while fielding questions from the moderator.

He was responding to questions on why his ease of business initiative had failed to curb the cost of haulage which had risen by 360 per cent as well as claims by business mogul, Aliko Dangote, that businesses were losing N86bn to Lagos gridlock every year.

The Vice-President was also asked to explain why the cost of transporting goods and time had increased from three days to 21 days at the ports.

In his response, Osinbajo said, “What is partly responsible for some of the problems we have around the cost of doing business are the ports etc. I think one of the major failings that we have had as a country apart from institutions is the failure to invest in infrastructure, especially when we were earning significant sums of money and I think that failure has led to some of what we are seeing today.

“The Apapa Port for example is a 35-million MT capacity port and now it is doing 85 which is really completely way out of its league; it shouldn’t be doing what it is doing. So, you have 30-tonne trucks coming out of the Apapa Port destroying the roads regularly.

“The railway should begin from the ports, taking goods out. That was never really done even though the tracks were laid. So, today we have to do exactly that, to re-lay the rail tracks so that the Lagos-Kano rail can take cargo out of the ports to the hinterland. We are also decongesting the ports by opening up the ports in the South-South.

“So, the issue is these are investments that ought to have been done and we are doing that now.”

He added that critical institutions that should drive growth had been failing.

The Vice-President noted that even the judiciary as an institution had not performed to expectation.

Osinbajo added, “Of course, we have to build institutions but institutions naturally take a while to build and unfortunately they are failing and really falling behind and I agree that truly many of our institutions are failing.

“One of the reasons for me is that even the institutions that our own profession is largely based on has not exactly done as well as we expect that they would. So, there is a problem around institutions but I think the major problem is that no matter how you look at institutions, they are largely about people and leadership.”

Posted 29/08/2018 1:16:01 PM

 

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