He recently revealed this during a courtesy visit by the Secretary-General and Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund, Dr Natalia Kanem, at the Government House, Benin City.
According to him, our population is currently a risk for the country, and if nothing is done about it, there will be a huge gap between our capacity to narrow the growth rate and our development.
He added that Nigeria can turn the 200 million-plus people we have today into a huge economic asset if we manage that growth.
His words, “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.”
“For us in government, it is a big risk that we must now begin to address and put our acts together. We believe in what you are doing. From that starting point, we believe in what you are doing and will need guidance and support on how to make sure that this issue becomes prominent on the agenda.”
“Right now, it’s not taking the place it needs to take in our conversations about our development. One of the roles we expect and hope you will help us to play is just getting this debate about our population control on the agenda.”
“For us in Edo, it’s about our people. It is about capacity, education and health, which is at the base. We have strengthened our basic education. The kids are now learning; our teachers are motivated and there are significant outcomes in our learning process.”
“We are pushing the same model in our healthcare space. Thank you so much for the push for vaccine manufacturing. It is so important. As a country, we must build our capacity. The pandemic will be with us for a while. We can’t continue to be dependent.”
“We need help to carry out our own sub-national census. We just commenced a 30-year planning process. We cannot do socio-economic planning, as well as our physical and urban planning without data. While working on the national population census, we also have to commence our own census with our planning process.”
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