A Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has raised concerns over the country’s population, saying the absence of control and proper planning may spell doom for Nigeria in the foreseeable future.
He said that with the current population, leaders across all tiers of government must team up to come up with plans and policies such that would help the country prepare for the projected population explosion in the country.
Obasanjo expressed concerns that Nigeria’s population was becoming a liability due to its improper management, stressing that except there was an urgent intervention, the nation may be declared the third most populous nation in the world.
The former president spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, at the weekend during a mentoring session with students of some selected schools across the country tagged “raising the next wave of innovative leaders through entrepreneurship.”
He alleged that the country’s uncontrolled population has slowed down national development and that it was important serious actions are taken to reverse the trend such that would allow Nigerians to enjoy dividends of democracy better.
According to him, population management must come to the fore, especially in the face of the geometric population explosion without a corresponding socio-economic development.
He said “We have moved from 120 million to over 200 million. We have added the population of France to our population and if we continue the way we are going, by the year 2050 we will be the third-largest country in the world.
“If we still continue, by the year 3000, we would be the largest country in the world. What are we going to do to handle that, how are we going to handle that population? If we do not start getting it right now, we will not get it right by the year 2050.”
Arguing that the population could either be an asset or a liability, the elder statesman noted that if the nation does not make adequate preparations then the country would pay for its over-population.
“What we need to do is education about population management. Some people don’t like saying family planning, but whatever you do, you must manage your population to the benefit of all that is living within your nation,” Obasanjo stated.