Jeffrey Herbst, President/CEO of NEWSEUM, has urged Nigeria to take concrete steps towards ensuring that its youths are gainfully employed or engaged in one way or the other.
He predicted that Nigeria’s population will hit 410m by 2050, urging that now is the time to formulate policies that will accommodate the explosion in number of citizens.
Jeffrey Herbst spoke in Lagos at the launch of ‘Making Africa Work’, a book he co-authored.
DAILY POST reports that other authors are former president Olusegun Obasanjo, who was also in attendance, Director of the Brenthurst Foundation, Dr Greg Mills and Maj. Gen. (rtd) Dickie Davis.
In attendance were Lagos State deputy governor, Oluranti Adebule, who represented Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
In his speech, Herbst said “Nigeria will hit 410million population by 2050. It is no longer in doubt, it will happen.
”An explosion of numbers of youth is not what you relax about. We all recall what happened in Tunisia, Egypt…the Arab spring. Youths took over, effected revolution and made demands. Their activism led to change of governments.
”Revolution like that is possible in Nigeria if the leaders do not adequately prepare for increase in size of the population. The country is 185million as I speak.
”My joy is that democracy is key and since you have it in Nigeria, it must be used effectively and to the optimum. Let me add that there’s much more to democracy than elections.
”Nigeria and other African countries must have laid out policies, public system that works, an efficient tax system that makes revenue, legislations that boosts growth.
“I believe government knows what it must do; there are always good ideas, policies and programmes. But the problem has always been how to finance it. In this regard, sectors such as mining and agriculture should receive more attention.
“Nigeria must also invest in infrastructure massively now before the population doubles. Zambia, a few years ago, made history when it became the first country to have 50% of its population in urban areas.
”The question is what is Nigeria, even with a greater population, doing? Efforts must be doubled…the clock is ticking.”