News / Africa

Report Says Nigeria's Population Boom May Pose Threat to Security

A British Council study published this week says Nigeria's booming population of young people may be a great boon for the country's economy in the coming decades. But it says if the Nigerian government does not take steps to engage young people, the country could face a "demographic disaster."

Farida Ashu is a 22-year-old who lives in Nigeria and is looking for work as a teacher.

She says she is optimistic young people in Nigeria are ready to take the country into the future.

"Now young people are not waiting for someone else to do it for them, they are striving to do it for themselves," said Ashu. "Most very good initiatives when you look at it critically, you discover that there is a young mind behind it and there is a young person that is being the one that is driving and executing it."

But she says like many young people in Nigeria, she does not have work. She says major steps need to be taken to ensure the growing population of her country can fulfill its potential.

"I fear that the government might not necessarily make use of this opportunity they have as they are supposed to," she adds. "I fear that the private sector, that we are all begging to come and invest in us, when they invest they will be grossly disappointed and we will go back to where we were in the beginning. I have so many fears."

Ashu took part in a new British Council study looking at how Nigeria can cope with its growing population. It already has one of the highest populations in the world and by 2050 is set to be the fifth most populous nation.

The report by the government-sponsored nonprofit organization says if the country takes full advantage of that baby boom, the average Nigerian's income could triple during the next two decades.

Ben Fisher is the director of programs for the British Council in Nigeria.

"By 2030 it will be one of the few countries in the world which has got a plentiful supply of young worker," said Fisher. "So the expectation is that if there is an investment in youth, that Nigeria could reap huge economic benefit in a similar way as has been experienced in Southeast Asia."

But a lot needs to be done in order to make that happen, he says. About 25 million jobs will need to be created during the next 10 years, the report says, and more attention needs to be paid to education and health.

It also says focus must be drawn from oil and towards other sectors. The oil industry counts for up to 40 percent of Nigeria's GDP, but Fisher says it does not create many jobs for the population.

A young population without work will be bad news for Nigeria, he says.

"If Nigeria fails to put the correct policies in place and to reap the demographic dividend, the seriousness of the predicament should not be underestimated," Fisher added. "Youth could be a force for great instability and social unrest in Nigeria."

The report says 30 percent of people who completed secondary education in Nigeria are unemployed.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs