FG expresses concern at population growth rate

THE PUNCH Newspaper- James Abraham, Jos

The Federal Government on Monday expressed concern at population growth rate in the country, describing it as “pretty high.”

According to the government, between 1991 and 2006 when the last population census was conducted, Nigeria’s annual growth rate stood at 3.18 per cent, noting that at this growth rate, Nigeria’s population in 2050 would be about 543 million.

The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who stated this at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies in Jos on Monday while inaugurating the Senior Executive Course 42 of participants of the institute, however, said the government was determined to tackle the challenge through the appropriate policy framework.

Osinbajo said, “Clearly this population size will be more of a burden than an asset, unless there is an appropriate and commensurate growth in the economy to take care of the growing population.”

Osinbajo pointed out that it was in order to address the problem that the Federal Government approved the ‘Population Growth and Human Capital Development Challenges and Opportunities,’ as the focus of study for this year’s Senior Executive Course 42 participants “to enable them to articulate evidence-based and appropriate responses to the issues.”

The Vice-President, who was represented on the occasion by the acting Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Folashade Yemi-Esan, said the Federal Government had high expectations of the course, given the critical role of human capital development as a response mechanism to rapid population growth in our national economy.

Director General of NIPSS, Prof. Habu Galadima, said a total of 77 participants, comprising members of the armed forces, professional bodies and top civil servants, among others, were selected for the course.


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