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Thoughts On Nigeria’s Population Explosion and Infrastructure Investment

A short while ago, at the 2011 World Population Day celebration, it was revealed that by October 31, Nigeria’s population would hit the 167 million mark; and would hit 433 million by 2050. To many, it was a verdict of a bleak future, and an imminent catastrophe. Nigerians then sat back to wait for an official reaction from our leaders. We might as well be waiting for the sky to fall down. But then, I was not very surprised.

Do these people - I mean our leaders - pay any attention to such issues that affect their people? They are not “thinkers” and they are not “people who act” on important issues. In fact they are utterly incapable of recognising important human and social issues even when it’s right on top of them. These are the type of people who have been ruling us for decades and held our development as a nation and a people hostage.

Should we be surprised? I always say No! The reason behind this is simple: Nigerians never elected these leaders; they forced themselves on us, either by fraud, i.e. rigging or coercion or by pointing guns at us. So what do we do? We accepted them and then ask God to save us from them. Maybe, maybe not, but I am looking forward to the day when we will be asking God to save our leaders from our hands, when we have our hands around their thieving throats.

Back to the issue of population explosion! A responsible and serious leadership will be very much concerned at this news. They should be asking themselves the following questions:

• How will we feed the extra mouths?
• How will we house the extra bodies?
• How will we educate the extra students?
• How will we provide adequate quality healthcare and prevent diseases for the extra vulnerable?
• How will we provide jobs for the extra youth population as a result?
• How will we provide services and goods for the extra population?
• How will we ensure that the whole people of Nigeria have better quality of living? And a host of other things to think about and start acting on in readiness for the next 10, 20 or 30 years.

The population explosion, which perhaps ought to be a blessing, might prove a nightmare for Nigeria, especially as we are never prepared for anything, until the disaster lands on our feet.

One thing that is certain as day and night is that our leaders are not concerned about the future; never concerned about the future of their country and people. They are more concerned about NOW; about what goes into their pocket NOW; what they can steal and acquire NOW; who cares whether the children of Musa, Akin and Chidi, and their children’s children survive in future? “It’s not my brief or problem to be responsible for their lives and future, as long as mine are assured”.

I like to compare the pictures of Bill Clinton and Obama when they were first elected presidents of the United States, and when they left. They were fresh and young initially. By the time Clinton ruled for eight years, he was looking quite old with grey hairs and worry-lines etched on his face (and this was not as a result of Monica Lewinsky). Have a good look at Barack Obama after 3 years as President, and you will see what I mean. He is still trim, but with more grey hairs and worry-lines; and he smokes even more now because of stress.

Please compare our former and current Presidents, heads of state, State Governors and even Local Government Chair persons, and you will see the difference. Our leaders, elected, selected or not elected, tend to bloat, put on weight and beer-bellies and look robust and over-fed even after what we would have regarded as a strenuous 4 or 8 years in power. Some of them even have time to bleach their skins, partying all the time or to indulge in paedophilia. A former State governor was always found on the golf course even during the week throughout his almost eight-year ignoble and utterly irresponsible rule. Mind you, I am not saying they should be looking haggard and miserable, but please, for crying out loud, they should at least look like they are working for the...

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