The US envoy expressed concern that Nigeria’s projected 400 million population by 2050 may come without commensurate amenities and human capital to sustain it
Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The United States has warned Nigeria against a looming population explosion by 2050.
To this end, the US Deputy Chief of Mission in Nigeria, Mr David Young has asked the federal government and other stakeholders to gear up to withstand the challenges of population explosion, which he said would double to 400 million by the year 2050.
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Mr Young expressed concern that the growing population of the country, if not properly managed, will create more problems than opportunities for the nation in future.
He made the observation during an interactive forum with members of the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Fellows held at Government House in the Kaduna state capital.
The US envoy expressed concern that Nigeria’s projected 400 million population by the year 2050 may come without commensurate amenities and human capital to sustain it, and therefore will become more of a challenge than an opportunity for the country.
On the way forward, Mr Young said government must focus attention on human capital development, health, education and curbing corruption to the barest minimum.
“We are in Kaduna to speak to young people who are the future leaders of the country. As we have discussed, the challenge in 2050 for Nigeria are both opportunities and challenges, particularly with the great population that is coming. By 2050, Nigeria will have over 400 million people. I think it’s very important to face these challenges. Investing in the people, the leaders of the future, is really important. I think all Nigerians recognize that addressing the issue of corruption is very important to be able to free up the funds to be able to invest in education, health for the future leaders of this country,” Mr Young said.
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Speaking on the issue, Kaduna Governor Nasir El-rufai said his administration was mindful of the rising population, and had started introducing sustainable development measures and policies that are geared towards developing human capital and infrastructure.
“I think the leadership of the country is aware, I can only speak for Kaduna state. As the Ambassador pointed out, what is important in taking advantage in this demographic explosion is investment in human capital, investment in education and healthcare. And we are doing that in Kaduna State. Part of the reason why we took some very difficult decisions to improve public education at the primary and secondary school levels is for that reason. There is nothing bad about having a huge population provided that the population is educated, healthy and productive. China is doing very well despite its huge population. So, we don’t see it as a problem, provided we do the right thing. And in Kaduna State we are doing the right thing,” the Governor stated.