Nigeria’s population, potential for economic fortune – LCCI boss

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The Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Muda Yusuf, said Nigeria’s huge population was not an economic disadvantage but that the people were being under-harnessed.

He told newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday that Nigeria’s population is a potential to turn the fortune of the economy around if effectively exploited.

According to him, a country with such demography as Nigeria will reap bountifully from its human capital through massive public investments in education and health.

“As one of the first 10 most populated nations, we need to devote more energy in our education and healthcare systems to quicken our development.

“A functional healthcare and educational system will lead to the production of dynamic and intelligent workforce that their knowledge can be exported.’’

He noted that most countries that were densely populated were experiencing success in their public affairs and added that Nigeria ought not to be an exemption.

“China and India that were developing economies some years ago are now world powers because they harnessed their demography.

“Our nation should not be an exception to the advantage that a large population offers any economy,’’ he said.

On the predictions of international credit-rating organisations that Nigeria has the potential to be among the first 10 leading economies by 2025, Yusuf said such forecasts would only be realisable with critical infrastructure in place.

“Nigerians have the entrepreneurial skill to turn this economy around to make these forecasts of our prosperity come through.

“We have the brains, wits and skill to accomplish targets set by us or for us but will need to have the necessary tool and infrastructure to achieve that,’’ Yusuf said.

Nigeria’s population as estimated in 2012 by the National Bureau of Statistics was around 166.2 million but a 2014 approximation records the ration of the populace at 178.5 million.

However, a United Nations prediction states that the population of Nigeria will reach 440 million by 2050, bringing her population at par with the countries like United States of America. (NAN)

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