Nigeria's population explosion gives me sleepless nights —Obasanjo

By AdvocateNews on 18/08/2021

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Chief Olusegun Obasanjo
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says he's concerned about the exploding rate of Nigeria's population, especially in relation to the problems the country is facing.

Nigeria has not conducted a population census since 2006, but its current population is estimated at over 200 million.

While speaking at the public presentation of the 2020 Africa Progress Group report on Tuesday, August 17, 2021, Obasanjo said the nation's increasing population keeps him awake at night.

He raised alarm over the imminent food crisis in Nigeria and all over Africa, and wondered how governments plan to house, educate, and provide basic things for their citizens.

The 84-year-old also worried about how African governments plan to provide jobs for their largely youthful populations and prevent them from resorting to crime for survival.

He said the challenges could hinder the continent's bid to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063.

The former president proposed that the continent's growing population be managed properly to yield huge dividends for national and regional development.

"While these clusters of questions are frightening, they would appear to have an elegantly simple solution - political will and action to make population an asset. This is the master key of a sort," he said.

Obasanjo, Nigeria's civilian president between 1999 and 2007, said African governments must lower the high unemployment rate by providing functional education, entrepreneurial training, and job opportunities.

Governments must also commit to providing an enabling environment for investment and growth of small and medium-scale enterprises.

 

Posted 18/08/2021 10:10:04 AM

 

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