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Lawmaker wants govt. to check population growth to fight poverty

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Mr Tunde Olatunji, the Chief Whip of Osun House of Assembly, has called on government to check the nation’s geometrical population growth to reduce the high level of poverty in the country.

Olatunji, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), representing Ife North Constituency, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Osogbo.

The lawmaker said that the country’s large population was not a strength, adding that what constitutes national strength and power should be the percentage of such huge number that could be converted into human capital.

According to Olatunji, Nigeria must be ready to take painful population control measures, as was done in Singapore which moved from third world to first world country within a generation.

“For efforts at fighting poverty to record any significant impact in Nigeria, it is imperative to control the nation’s geometrical population growth.

“In the instance where a society with less population is more productive than its counterpart with larger number and more natural resources, the obvious consequence is poverty.

“This is the case in most African countries,’’ Olatunji said.

The lawmaker, who expressed concern over the spate of insecurity in the country, attributed the scourge to uncontrolled population growth.

He said the uncontrolled population was  mounting pressure on the limited natural resources, resulting in climate change, reduction in resources and forced migration.

Olatunji said that this was particularly obvious to the people of the Sahel region of Africa who helplessly moved downward to the wet green region.

According to him, with China, India and Nigeria with endemic population growth globally, Nigeria is the worst as the ratio of periodic birth per each population places it ostensibly higher than the two others.

The lawmaker, while making reference to 2016 global economic data, said Africa with a population of over one billion people recorded a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of less than $3 trillion.

He also said that meanwhile Germany, a country in Europe, at about same period had a GDP of over $3.6 trillion.

Olatunji stressed for Nigeria to overcome its many challenges, there was the need for government to check the nation’s population growth.

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