Obasanjo: How are we going to feed, house, educate this growing population?


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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says Nigeria’s greatest headache in a few years would be how to feed, house, and educate its growing population.

The former president raised the concern in an address at the Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe symposium in Lagos.

Obasanjo said that political will was required to transform the country’s population into an asset.

He expressed worry over the growing population, insisting that the inability to adequately manage it had bred youth unemployment and subsequent resort to enlisting in violent groups and kidnap gangs by the unemployed youths.

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“First cluster of questions are: How are we going to feed this growing population? How are we going to house them, educate them — provided we have security and other variants of security?

“The second cluster of questions are: How do we keep this large keg of a large army of unemployed youths from exploding? How do we keep them from enlisting in violent groups and gangs of kidnappers?

“A not-well managed cluster of population is frightening.

“There appears to be a solution. Political will and political action can make the population an asset. This is the master key. The key has the will and the action. It is not enough to shout political will in mere political rhetoric,” Obasanjo said.

According to him, there is an index that countries could use to enhance their populations and make them an asset.

Obasanjo said he was proud to “introduce the population and assets responsiveness index, just as UN, AU and other international agencies have established indices for comparing performance of countries”.

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