Nigeria population and its economic significance is a topic that should interest every open-minded citizen but does not.
This is because more than half of the over 180 million Nigerians, find it hard to understand why basic infrastructure is absent and when available, is inadequate in a country with large human and material and natural resources.
You are aware that population is an asset to any nation. Why is it that in Nigeria the reverse is the case?
This article will define population and economy and give you the advantages and a few disadvantages of having a large population, and show how population affect economy of a country.
At the end of this article, you will be able to judge whether Nigeria has made the best use of economic potentials of having a large population or not.
Let us define population, economy, and wealth creation and their link to the economy of a nation.
Definition of Population
Population is the total number of people who live in an area, region, or country, or a set of people in a specific place who live in a locality.
Definition of Economy
Economy is the production and use of goods and services of a group of people who live in a locality. In addition, economy involves the making and sale of goods and services of businesses operating in a given geographical area.
The economy of Nigeria consists of Federal, State and Local governments, Individual households and Businesses who spend trillions of naira yearly to make, sell and buy goods and services.
From those definitions, people who make-up the population create wealth.
Let us expand this thought further.
Population and Wealth Creation
Wealth in economics means a set of goods having economic value. To create wealth the goods must satisfy human want, be in scarce supply, sellable at specific market price, and have monetary worth.
A country’s population creates wealth by using human and material resources to make valuable goods or services which they sell to earn income.
The next thing to tackle is …
The Relationship of Population to the Economy
You will see the link of population to the economy when we use different sectors in the Nigerian economy to show this relevance.
Let us begin from the manufacturing sector.
Nigeria Population and its Economic Significance for the Manufacturing Sector
Manufacturers make goods and services for use by different segments of Nigerian population.
Recall that we said economy means the making and sale of goods and services of businesses operating in a given geographical area.
For example, the market for fast-moving consumer goods is big business due to large population so there is a fierce competition between companies in the country and global brands for customers.
This competition compels local manufacturers to make goods or give services of high standards to the benefit of consumers.
Job Creation in the Country
In the area of job creation, economic significance of population shows that making and selling goods, boost trade in the country and creates jobs.
Let us look at the making of fast-moving consumer goods again. The manufacturing of one product needs different skills, and at completion requires even more skills to take the product to consumers and make them buy the goods.
The skills include sourcing and supply of raw materials, making the product, packaging, graphic design, advertising, haulage, wholesalers and retailers, etc.
All these are jobs created from just one product and people work in these roles. These people make up population which exists in the economy of the country.
Nigeria Population and its Economic Significance in Manpower Development
Disruptions in the market place due to the internet and technological innovations, have led to the necessity for new skills to fill new job roles that have suddenly appeared.
Because of this fact, the potential for seminars to teach these new subjects like Computer imaging, Web writing, Copy writing, Cybernetics and Robotics is high, to equip young Nigerians to work in companies locally and globally.
The large population in Nigeria also gives opportunity for schools, trainers and educational organizations to attract huge patronage as they give valuable service to develop skills of the populace.
Nigeria Population and its Economic Significance on Infrastructure
Without adequate infrastructure the country’s economy will enjoy only small growth.
With population of over 180 million people in Nigeria, these numbers has overstretched infrastructure causing deterioration of limited public facilities such as roads, schools, hospitals, electricity, housing, water, security, etc.
Irrespective of government spending of billions of naira in those sectors, they merely scratch the surface.
The worsening of amenities is one disadvantage of having a large population in Nigeria, but it is also a huge opportunity for wise investors.
The country needs private investors, entrepreneurs and local contractors to intervene and solve those problems and profit from them. For example, scarcity of houses creates huge opportunities for private real estate developers.
Secondly, services of local transport operators are inadequate for population of a city like Lagos. Therefore, we need urgent providers of modern transport systems such as electric trains, comfortable buses, new aircrafts and introduction of good boats for commuters.
Increase in Gross Domestic Product
There is inadequate production of goods and services in different sectors of the Nigerian economy.
We need urgent solutions in farming, manufacturing, education, transportation, electrical and medical fields, information communication technology, etc. These are opportunities to solve the consumers’ problems and profit.
A ready example of unusual possibilities for growth is the telephone service sector. The launching of GSM telephones in Nigeria led to sale of phones, accessories, and use of GSM phones to surf the Internet by the populace.
Small businesses that supply information communication technology (ICT) services and global system for mobile technology (GSM) phones, give billions to Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Imagine what would happen if the country had uninterrupted power supply.
Constant power will make hard-working Nigerians work night and day to build mega corporations that will not only increase Nigeria’s GDP, but make it to rank with that of the United States of America, and give the businesses opportunity to compete as they serve the people.
Nigeria Population and its Economic Significance in the Financial Sector
Population of Nigeria and its economic significance in the financial sector have been a big success. The financial sector generates thousands of jobs and it is the centre of Nigeria’s economic progress.
The growth in the financial sector has led to creation of big banks, discount houses, the stock and commodity markets, insurance corporations, finance houses, mortgage banks and micro finance banks.
These financial institutions grant different types of loans to buy consumer goods, mortgages, equipment for homes, lifestyle goods such as cars, televisions, air conditioners, etc.
People buy stocks, bonds, treasury bills, fixed deposits, car and life insurance, fire, equipment and house insurance.
The ordinary market woman and artisans have co-operative societies and micro finance banks, who give them small loans to finance their small businesses all over the country.
Leasing companies finance leases for customers to buy equipment and meet working capital needs.
The bureaus de-change operators serve a small part of the market that is not able to get foreign exchange from big commercial banks in the country.
In addition, Government development banks such as Nigeria Industrial Development Bank, Nigeria Agricultural Bank, Nigeria Export Import Bank, give loans to private Nigerian Businesses, farmers, exporters and Industrialists, for economic growth.
Finally, the government agencies that supervise this sector such us the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Security and Exchange Commission, National Insurance Commission, Federal Mortgage Bank, are vital for averting distress in the financial system.
Nigeria Population and its Economic Significance in the Security Sector
Security is a big problem due to large population in the country. This is another disadvantage of having large population in Nigeria.
To solve this problem, the government must hire more Police officers; give them modern training, buy new equipment for them and demand accountability from the head of the Police force.
The bad side of security problem is loss of patronage of the tourism industry by foreigners, which is a source of livelihood for many Nigerians in the travel and tours business.
The solution for this problem is giving employment to young people and vigilance of all citizens. The second solution is starting social security program in Nigeria.
Our study of Nigeria population and its economic significance have shown that it is an advantage to any nation, though Nigeria has not taken advantage of her population fully.
We call on the government to improve infrastructure, strengthen its agencies and harness the population to build a country that can compete with the best economies in the world.
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