Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the 36 state governors yesterday raised alarm over population explosion vis a viz the size of the country’s economy.
They spoke during a valedictory meeting the National Economic Council (NEC) presided over by Osinbajo at the State House, Abuja.
“In the next few years our population will double with the attendant challenges of jobs, education, health care, security and infrastructure. Destiny and future of the Nigerian masses rest on the elite group.
“The privilege of executive leadership at this level is the one only few of us will ever have. When I say few of us, it is few of us in our nation I have said at a previous forum, 36 governors and their deputies, one President and one Vice President we will be 74 in all men and women of a nation of 200 million.
“It is on this elite group that the destiny and future of all our people rest.
“Many of us have led our states for these many years, no one needs to advise us on the importance of unity, on importance of tempering utterances with wisdom, with moderation and conserve expressing concern for those who are the usual victims of the conflicts that are caused by hate speech, the conflicts that are caused by careless and reckless statements,” Osinbajo said.
Outgoing chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari said unless Nigeria’s population is looked at, the country is sitting on a time bomb.
“I think even Niger Republic that is not up to the size of Kano State, they have their plan on population, they know the number of people they have, the dead, new born and all that,” he said.
Also speaking, a former governor of Osun state, Rauf Aregbesola said the country’s economy was tiny compared to the population.
“I don’t need to expatiate on the size of the economy but it is worth to say that if Cuba could have a revenue of $50 billion per annum, Nigeria has no business with the size of revenue it has. How many people are in Cuba? 12 million people, the size of Kwara State in Nigeria. “So, that will tell us how small our economy is. But Cuba is a good example of the smallness of our economy and how inappropriate it is to address the issues staring us in the face. “Nigeria is a very poor nation. The way the leadership of nation carries itself, shows that we are affluent and we are not.”