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NIGERIA RISKS DEMOGRAPHIC DISASTER – REPORT

By NBF News

The Harvard School of Public Health led the team that carried out the study. Also involved in the study are teams drawn from universities in Nigeria, USA and the UK.

A statement in Kano yesterday said the report, which was compiled by an independent task force of prominent Nigerians, convened by the British Council, would be presented to the public in Abuja, today. It added that the aim of the study was to spark off debate on the needs of young people, and policies to harness their potentials.

'Youths, not oil, will be the country's most valuable resource in the 21st century. If the country continues on its recent economic growth rate, improves education, health standard, and creates jobs, the average Nigerian could be three times richer by 2030, and over 30 million people will be lifted out of poverty. But if Nigeria fails to plan for its next generation, it faces serious problems as a result of the growing number of young people frustrated by lack of jobs and opportunities,' the report said.

The report maintained that if Nigeria fails to harness its potentials, it could be a hub for instability and social unrest.

'Nigeria needs to create 25 million jobs in the next 10 years, and shift its focus from oil, which contributes 40 per cent to national GDP, but only employs 0.15 per cent of the population,' it added.

The members of the task force include Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, managing director of the World Bank, Frank Nweke, Lamido Ado Bayero, Donald Duke, Pat Utomi and Maryam Uwais.