From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has called for proper population management, expressing the fear that the geometric population explosion without a corresponding socio-economic development, may spell doom for the country.
Obasanjo, who spoke at a mentoring session for students of some selected schools across the country, organised by Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (STAGE), said Nigeria’s increasing population must be properly managed to engender national development.
At the event tagged: ‘Raising the Next Wave of Innovative Leaders Through Entrepreneurship’ at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, Ogun State, he declared that no nation can attain the desired development without accurate population data.
He said some countries such as China, India and others with large population, have harnessed their sizes to espouse socio-economic development, urging the Nigerian government to work towards harnessing the potential of the country’s large population.
While calling for more actions in population management, Obasanjo charged the young students to uphold the virtues of integrity, honesty and good moral standing, to take them to their respective chosen careers in life.
According to him, efforts must be geared towards nurturing a new set of business leaders through entrepreneurship to tackle some of the economic challenges in the country.
“Mentorship and motivation of this nature may just be the tonic that will fire the necessary patriotism for national development in these budding leaders of tomorrow,” Obasanjo said.
Speaking earlier at event, the Republic of Korea’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Kim Young-Chae, who equally raised concerns over the growing population of Nigeria without a corresponding economic growth, however, promised his home country’s harmonious bilateral cooperation, including entrepreneurship development for young Nigerians.
Chairman of STAGE, Agwu Amogu, disclosed the programme was initiated at the California State University, USA in 2002 and currently operational in over 32 countries across all the continents of the world.
He said STAGE has offered secondary school and young people a hands-on learning process on how to create wealth, help others and their communities.