Director of Monetary Policy Department of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Moses Tule, has warned that a time bomb may be ticking except the federal government takes steps to expand the economic base that will help to stimulate the economy, and create jobs for our teeming youths.
Nigeria’s current population is put at 185 million and projected to be the third most populous country in the world by 2017 by the United Nations.
Speaking at the 40th yearly conference of Nigerian Statistical Association, in Abuja last week, Tule said the country’s large population is more a liability than asset because citizens are not producing needed goods and services to cater for the population.
He lamented that the population is growing at a rate of 3.5 per cent per annum while economy is currently growing at a negative rate of -two per cent, warning that for growth to be sustainable, the economy must grow at the rate of at least 5.5 per cent to sustain the growing population.
“If a large population does not produce then it is a liability,” he said, while advising macroeconomic managers to brace up and re-engineer the economy.
He accused macroeconomic managers of failing to re-direct policies to support the growing population.
“When you design macroeconomic policies wrongly and apply them wrongly the economy would sink,” Tule, who observed that the economy was growing wrongly observed, while insisting on proper use of statistics in development plans because doing otherwise would result in chaos.
In his address, President of the Association, Dr. Mohammed M. Tumala, harped on the importance of properly funding governments’ ministries, departments and agencies in the task of producing official statistics aside from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) because they all have roles to play in data gathering and management.
While noting the importance of censuses including population census, establishments, households and agriculture, Tumala however, agreed that their costs are prohibitive.
“The 2017 traditional population census taking for instance, is being planned for about N300,000, which is almost 10 per cent of nationally collected revenue. This adds to the burden of funding statistics production in the country,” he stated.
According to him, Nigerian Statistical Association will continue to make its contributions in capacity building and provision of platforms for knowledge sharing and collaboration, as a way to complement institutional structure and funding efforts for the production of official statistics in the country.