Some financial experts on Thursday urged the Federal Government to declare emergency on agriculture, education and Information Communications Technology (ICT) sectors.
They said in Lagos that the decay of the critical infrastructure nationwide made it imperative for a national emergency.
According to them, the enlisting of Nigeria among the 10 most populated countries of the world by 2050 by the Washington based Population Reference Bureau (PRB) remains a reminder to the national challenges.
PRB is a nonprofit organisation that analyses and disseminates global demographic data and research.
According to the organisation, Africa, contrary to other opinions, is going to be a key driver in population growth over the next few decades.
They claimed that while the U.S. and other developed economies were streamlining their labour forces to accommodate aging population, most African countries, including Nigeria, were having a baby boom.
An economist, Dr Evans Osabuohien, said that the projections of PRB concerning Nigeria would have positive and/or negative ramification for the economy.
Osabuohien, who lectures at the Department of Development and Economics, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun, said it would enhance labour supply.
“As young ones grow up, become bread winners, they would contribute to the value chain in the labour market,” he said.
The don said that the fundamental preoccupation of government and the private sector should be anchored on leveraging on such opportunities for a better economy.
According to him, Africa needs to look inwards in harnessing its potential for sustainable growth and development.
He also said that if the projections of PRB were anything to go by, then government should make the education sector more functional.
“The government should encourage a technologically driven education that will enable the country to compete favourably in the committee of advanced nations,” Osabuohien said.
He called for a meaningful engagement of youths, to save their brains from being hijacked by vices.
The economist urged the government to overhaul the health sector, to avert crisis that might result in population surge.
On the other hand, the projected growth in the nation’s population could become chaotic due to the ongoing recruitment of terrorists from the continent.
“The U.S. is afraid that if the growing African population was not engaged productively, they could be hired by terrorists for their nefarious activities. If the youth were not creatively engaged, there could be an escalation or explosion of violence on the continent, Osabuohien said.
Osabuohien noted that the projected population would lead to an increased demand for housing.
He advocated for a robust mortgage housing policy that would ensure that civil servants and people with steady jobs could leverage on to build their houses.
Prof. Sherrifadeen Tella of the Department of Economics, Onabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun, called for an increased productivity in the economy.
Tella said that food security was fundamental in checking the consequences of a bloated population.
“The country must continue to look inward, manage what we have and reduce every leakage in the economy. Our education system must be productive. We must improve in terms of quality and quantity,’’ Tella said.
The don said a technology driven education was important as technology had become the vehicle for driving development globally.
He said that China’s growth in technology was orchestrated by the sending of its citizens abroad to acquire technological knowledge.
The don urged the government to partner with the private sector to reduce the housing deficit in the country.