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 Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid