Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has cautioned against population explosion in the country.
According to Obasanjo, Nigeria’s population is becoming a liability due to its improper management. He said 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.”
While answering questions from the students on mentorship, Obasanjo 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.
He said 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.
“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,” Obasanjo said.