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Rapid population growth put pressure on infrastructure

By on November 6, 2014

Rapid growth in population is putting tremendous strain on the country’s infrastructure, President Goodluck Jonathan has said.

Different agencies have put the country’s population to be above 170 million, but the population was last recorded at 166.2 million by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2012 from 45.2 million in 1960, changing by 268 per cent during the last 50 years.

Nigeria’s population averaged 93.39 million from 1960 until 2012, reaching an all-time high of 166.21 million in 2012 and a record low of 45.15 million in 1960.

The speed of population growth, according to Jonathan, has placed a huge strain on the country’s infrastructure.

He noted that Nigeria, being one of the developing economies of the world, was faced with challenges of providing sustainable infrastructure in the power and transportation sectors.

The President said these on Tuesday during the opening of the World Engineering Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure hosted by the Nigerian Society of Engineers in Abuja.

Jonathan, who was represented by the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, said, “The rapid growth in population has undoubtedly put tremendous strain on existing infrastructure in Nigeria.

“These infrastructure are currently being enhanced, while new ones are being developed to accommodate fresh demands.”

He said Nigeria needed good and sustainable infrastructure not only to serve as catalyst for economic growth, but also for the creative engagement of the citizens and to generate national development.

“It is in realisation of this truism that my administration recently developed and approved the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan that will guide the development of critical national infrastructure in the next 40 years,” he added.

According to the President, Nigeria is currently on the threshold of developing infrastructure that will meet the needs of current and future generations in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable manner.

The President, NSE, Mr. Ademola Olorunfemi, said African nations had in recent years demonstrated tremendous improvement in the development of infrastructure.

He said the Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic, the holistic study conducted by development agencies in partnership with the World Bank, recently commended some countries on the continent for the efforts made so far on infrastructure development.

Olorunfemi said, “The conclusion of the report, however, noted that to achieve national development targets in most African countries in a period of 10 years, an annual spending of $93bn would be required.

“The implication of this for Nigeria and the rest of Africa is that there is an urgent need to develop new and efficient policy framework, technical capacity and financing options for the rapid achievement of our targets.”