9. The Nigerian Population; A Growing ‘Hydra’ With Potentials, Worthy Of Note. Part I Of Part II

Population can be defined within the context of this episode to mean:  ‘the number of inhabitants (either the total number or the number of a particular race or class) in a given place (country or city etc.)’And in this case, our reference to the Nigerian population is the number of inhabitants born of Nigerian origin. At certain instances, it may also include an aggregate of this figure in addition to foreigners within the Nigerian land space at any point in time.

A ‘Hydra within the same context of the preceding paragraph can be defined as: ‘a (Greek mythology) monster with nine heads; when struck off each head was replaced by two new ones’ Rightly, it might seem best to rational reasoning to slay the monster; however, if the duel started with a one-headed monster, after cutting off the head just twice, the warrior of reason would be facing an undying monster with four heads! A riddle indeed!! It might seem best in the court of prudent wisdom, to tame the monster to become a useful tool, assuming this accomplishment is possible and this feat would require more than an average dose of ingenuity.

Lastly, ‘Potentials within this context means ‘the inherent capacity for a concept to come into being’, however it should be appreciated that the character of whatever defines the being could fall into the positive or negative axis of useful potential which can translate to positive economic growth and not a burden to economic development.

The large population of any nation could be a blessing or a dilemma if the development of supporting infrastructure (Roads, Water supply, Schools, hospitals etc) is not properly managed. There would come a time when there would be an unhealthy degree of competition because the limited infrastructure cannot support the ‘weight’ of the population. For simple illustration, the major refineries in Nigeria were built in the mid-70’s when the population of the country was estimated at 63,373,572. 30 years later, the same strength of refineries can no longer provide efficient petroleum service because the demand for the product is far higher. With proper planning, Countries with populations larger than Nigeria have recorded economic milestones with their national development; e.g. China is currently one of the leading world economies, and India is not far behind with economic success. The population of the former is estimated at 1.386 billion, whilst the latter holds a population of 1.339 billion, Nigeria is estimated at 190.9 million. This, is a mere fraction in comparison.

It’s a clear fact that if most of the citizenry of any nation are inclined to productivity, there would massive and varied spheres of development within that space. This is the case with the country China. The diverse skilled citizenry can always present an alternative productive drive if the nation’s main stay is no longer a viable source of income, and income is the medium of expense required for national development.  However, in the event that there is no effort at profound productivity from the majority, there can never be any divine intervention as a substitute to the reality of the consequence of under development. This is a truth we’d collectively need to come to hard terms with. The diversity of the productive strength of our aggregate majority is really weak. So for illustration, the drastic drop in the global price of oil was able to send our country Nigeria into an exile of recession. There was no readily fall back productive alternative on ground.  It is very doubtful if this scenario can ever find opportunity in the economic space of the Chinese nation. This is a painful lesson we all need to come to terms with, if there is a if there is any whisper of a chance to reverse the current spin of the wheel.  

Another negative dimension of improper management of a large population is friction within the population. Communal conflicts, Frequent Industrial actions, Herdsmen and Farmers clashes, etc are some illustrations of the dynamics with the preceding sentence. Another painful lesson….

Continues in Part II of Part II

© 2019 – Nigerian Patriot.  All rights reserved

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