- Nigeria’s Population Presently is a Liability Not an Asset Says Sanusi
Emir of Kano, Mohammed Sanusi II has described the Nigerian population as a liability and not an asset.
The Emir, who spoke at the Nigeria Economic Summit meeting in Abuja, said the almost two hundred million population is a liability and not an asset as the current policies are yet to be focused on harnessing its potential.
According to him, most of Nigeria’s present insecurity issues and other challenges like armed robbery, insurgency, farmers-herders crisis, rising number of out of school children, etc are a result of a poorly managed population growth.
He said, “people talk that our population is an asset but we are yet to get there. Nigeria’s population is currently a liability because most of the root cause of problems such as kidnapping, armed robbery, Boko Haram, drug addiction are all tied to the population that we have and the question is how do you turn that into a productive one.”
While he agreed that Nigeria’s population could be its strength, he also admits it is the most important developmental challenge Nigeria has to face as a nation.
“If we don’t have a demographic transition, we will never have an economic transition,” he said.
He said the nation needs to have a greater nuance in looking at population and demography.
The Emir explained that Nigeria is one nation but its many countries in many respect.
He noted that fertility rate in some parts of the country is like 8 children per woman while in other parts it is three. Sanusi said the majority of Nigeria’s 3 per cent population growth rate comes from the North-East and North-West, the regions with the largest number of people, the highest fertility rate, the highest number of girls who have no formal education and the highest level of poverty.
Therefore, as of today, Nigeria’s population is a liability but it can be turned into an asset with the right policies, he said.