Nigeria’s high and ever-growing population, currently estimated to be 210 million, has been a source of concern to development experts, who insist that human capital should be a catalyst for productivity and national development.
By effectively investing in key areas of development, including Education, Health and support for small and medium-scale businesses, Nigeria’s population can be deployed as tool for national progress and development, Mr Peter Obi, Leadership and Governance analyst, who was Governor of Nigeria’s Southeastern State of Anambra and former Vice Presidential candidiate of the PDP, Nigeria’s main opposition party, said in a statement his aide shared with Prime Business Africa.
Obi wants Nigerian leaders to harness the country’s huge population for maximum national productivity and progress, even as the world celeberates Population Day. He explained that the huge population with which Nigeria is endowed, should be seen as a blessing, not a curse.
In his assessment, huge population of over 200 million appears a burden to Nigeria because it has not been properly harnessed.
A consistent commentator on national and economic issues, Obi stated that an educated and healthy population in a private sector-driven economy is a blessing to any nation.”In the world of today, where human capital is the greatest asset of any nation, huge population is no longer a disadvantage, Obi said while referencing India, a leading nation in information technology.
India, he said, has a population of over 1.3 billion people, while China, with its massive industrial productivity, has over 1.4 billion people.
“The same applies to Vietnam, Indonesia and some other similar economies. These countries have duely invested in their human capital, thus resulting in national progress and development.”
Obi said “Our high population has not been a blessing to us as a nation due to accumulated leadership failure over the years where the leaders have not sincerely invested in the people by prioritising education, health and supporting the small business sector which is the engine of economic development in any nation.”
He, therefore, advised leaders to invest in education, health and poverty alleviation to build an economy that would support the growing population and ensure Nigeria remains viable and productive.