The United States Consulate General, John Bray, has described the current challenges of Nigeria’s economy and the expectations of the future as discouraging in lieu of the projected population of the country, expected to explode to about 450 million by 2050.
The United States diplomat, John Bray made this known on Tuesday while delivering a keynote speech at the Securex West Africa conference in Lagos, Nigeria. The theme of the conference which was tagged: ‘A multi-stakeholder approach to addressing Nigeria’s security challengeʼ had a lot of dignitaries in attendance.
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Mr Bray connected the current security situation in Nigeria to the economic challenges of county while delivering his speech. He also mentioned some of the contributing factors to economic and political instability in the country such as health crises, trade in toxic chemicals, disposal of hazardous wastes and corruption, amongst others.
Quoting the National Bureau of Statistics, Mr Bray said the number of youths that are unemployed in the country at 13.2 million as at 2018 was quite alarming.
He also added that the concurrent rise of militancy in the North East, South East, and South South is in direct proportion to the number of unemployed youths in the country.
“The challenges it will face in the future brought on by dramatic population increase could be even direr. Nigeria is on track to reach nearly 450 million by 2050, a number that would make it the third most populous nation in the world. The convergence of these factors and a poor economic outlook will have a significant impact on security and stability in Nigeria,” he said.
He equally remarked that the country was in dire need of economic diversification, and it is achievable through investment in the agriculture and entertainment industry.
He also said that the United States is always ready to support human capital development in Nigeria. But he emphasized the need for the Federal government to play its in addressing corruption and encourage foreign investment within the country.
“Nigeria must address its endemic corruption. The ability to sign deals that only benefit political leaders impacts Nigeria’s ability to develop its economy and encourage investment. The United States does its best to limit corruption continent-wide. We do so through visa regulations, business sanctions, and through training and advocacy work.”