By Ononye VC
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has warned against population explosion in the country.
Obasanjo said Nigeria’s population is becoming a liability due to its improper management, saying, except something urgent is done, Nigeria may be declared the third largest country in 2050.
The former president called for population management in the face of the geometric population explosion without a corresponding socio-economic development, a situation which he said has slowed down national development.
He spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital during a mentoring session with students of some selected schools across the country tagged “raising the next wave of innovative leaders through entrepreneurship.”
Obasanjo, while fielding questions from the students on mentorship, highlighted service to fatherland , integrity, loyalty and good moral standing as some of the virtues that could sustain them in their chosen careers in life.
Speaking on the state of the nation, the former president expressed worry over management of population of the country.
He said, “When COVID-19 struck, I decided to take the vaccine. I was worried that it would be like Ebola, thank God it has not been as devastating as Ebola.
“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 2030.”
The former president however said population could either be an asset or a liability.
According to him, population by itself may not be a liability if we do what we have to do, but if we don’t do what we have to do which we are not doing now, the population will be a liability.
He said, “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 are living within your nation.”
Earlier, Chairman, Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship, Nigeria, Agwu Amogu said the Sage was initiated to tackle some myriad of challenges facing the country such as terrorism, banditry, high poverty rate and dangerous level of youth unemployment.
He said, “One possible approach to reverse this trend would be to increase attention and funding for hands-on entrepreneurship and community service education.
“This will enable the young people to acquire the necessary 21st-century skills for jobs and self-employment.
“We urgently need a new paradigm for education. The new paradigm must provide students with a chance to learn while solving community problems and immediately applying what they have learnt in the classroom by actually doing something great.
“We now live in a world where any country can compete effectively with others based on the creative imagination of its human capital. There is no better place to stoke the fire of imagination than in the young people.”