Nigeria's Population, A Ticking Time Bomb – Gbajabiamila

The Speaker of the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has asserted that Nigeria’s population growth must be taken seriously, saying that the surging growth is a ticking time bomb. 

The Speaker also warned that failure to harness and come up with creative ways of maximizing the advantages of the rapidly changing population structure was dangerous.

He made this known while speaking at the ‘Parliamentary Summit on Fast-Tracking Nigeria’s Demographic Transition’ in Abuja which was organised by the National Population Commission (NPC) and the World Bank.

Gbajabiamila called on the government at all levels to identify and be deliberate in taking actions that would maximize Nigeria’s huge manpower.

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The Lagos lawmaker said the country could not afford to be complacent about demographic transition as such could be fatal in future.

Noting that it’s been 16 years since the population and housing census, he said the current data is based on projections and estimates.

‘What we do know for sure is that Nigeria has a significant and growing youth bulge in our population.

‘Whether this fact turns out to be a good thing or a tragedy depends on the policy choices we make and the actions we take now.’

Gbajabiamila called for immediate and sustained actions to drive a demographic change that would make economic growth more attainable.

In a related development, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for urgent measures to check Nigeria’s alarming population growth.

He said, ‘For me, one of the key risks we face in Nigeria, both as an advantage and also as a key risk factor, is our population. If we do not do something about controlling our population growth, there will be a huge gap between our capacity to narrow the growth rate and our development.

‘Yes, we could turn the 200 million-plus people we have today into a huge economic asset if we manage that growth. If we don’t and allow it to grow without proper planning, we will continue to play catch-up for decades to come.

Africa Today News, New York reports that Nigeria’s population is presently over 200 million people by recent estimates.

Africa Today News, New York

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