Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says political will and action are key to transforming the country’s population into an asset.
While speaking on Friday at the Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe symposium in Lagos, Obasanjo expressed worry over the country’s growing population, especially the unemployed youths.
The former president said owing to unemployment and the inability to manage the country’s population, many youths have enlisted in violent groups and kidnap gangs.
“First cluster of questions are: How are we going to feed this growing population? How are we going to house them, educate them — provided we have security and other variants of security?” he said.
“The second cluster of questions are: How do we keep this large keg of a large army of unemployed youths from exploding? How do we keep them from enlisting in violent groups and gangs of kidnappers?
“A not-well managed cluster of population is frightening.
“There appears to be a solution. Political will and political action can make the population an asset. This is the master key. The key has the will and the action. It is not enough to shout political will in mere political rhetoric.”
The former president also said there is an index that countries could use to enhance their populations and make it an asset.
“I’m proud to introduce the population and assets responsiveness index, just as UN, AU and other international agencies have established indices for comparing performance of countries,” he said.