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Alarm raised over increasing population – Osinbajo, governors.

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and some state governors Thursday raised the alarm over the increasing population. At the valedictory session of the National Economic Council (NEC) at the State House, Abuja on Thursday, increasing population, ‘small’ economy and so on dominated discourse, reports Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja.

The population, they warned, may double in the next few years with adverse effects on available infrastructures and facilities. They spoke during the valedictory session of the National Economic Council (NEC) at the State House, Abuja.

Nigeria vice president Osinbajo also called for condemnation of those involved in hate speeches in the country. Nigerians, he said, “ Nigeria should not take lightly those capable of causing the crisis in the country through their utterances.”

Osinbajo said: “The privilege of executive leadership at this level is the one only a few of us will ever have. When I say few of us, it is few of us in our nation I have said at a previous forum, 36 governors and their deputies, one President and one Vice President we will be 74 in all men and women of a nation of 200 million. It is on this elite group that the destiny and future of all our people rest.

“In the next few years, our population will double with the attendant challenges of jobs, education, health care, security and infrastructure. Every nation that has to move its people from misery to prosperity has depended heavily in fact almost completely on the political elite.

The vice president “Our people have nowhere else to look or to go, it is as they say, at the collective table that the buck stops.” He urged the governors whose tenures are coming to end nit to spend their lives sleeping outside power

Osinbajo said: “Many of us have led our states for these many years, no one needs to advise us on the importance of unity, on importance of tempering utterances with wisdom, with moderation and conserve expressing concern for those who are the usual victims of the conflicts that are caused by hate speech, the conflicts that are caused by careless and reckless statements.

“The ordinary Nigerian has no problems with his brothers and sisters of different tribes and religions, they share the same issues, they just want a decent existence, they want food on the table, they want good shelter and security of lives and livelihoods.

I must also urge this body to see that most of the gains of the last four years are truly translated into making Nigeria’s economy much more robust and less dependent on the areas of crude oil.

He said: “I don’t understand the long hullabaloo when my name is mentioned, Mr chairman, mine is just to appreciate you and to commend you for a job well done. Some of us have watched you, your style of leadership with your humility in place and I can only summarize that you are indeed a patriotic Nigerian, whose patriotism does not lie in the fear of the law but love for your country. ” Rochas Okorocha of Imo State spoke for the South East governors.

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara state, who spoke on behalf North Central governors, said: “No doubt, the NEC is saddled with the responsibility of shaping the economic direction for the country and we are very proud to say that it has been a very wonderful experience in the last four years.

“One of the reasons is because we truly witnessed an inclusive process in developing policy direction. You will agree with me that in governance good policy direction is critical to shaping the ways that things will be carried on and we saw an inclusive policy direction.

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode Spoke on behalf of the South West governors said: “From the Southwest we are coming with a heart full of gratitude we want to say a very big thank you to all our governors, for the very first time we have had a robust and purposeful NEC group because from the reflection of those that have spoken in the past about the previous NEC, this is the first time that the 36 governors have consistently sat together to pursue the same purpose and same goal and it wouldn’t have been possible if not for the strong leadership that the vice president has brought to bear on this floor.

Speaking for the Northeast, Kashim Shettima of Borno State said: “I’d like to join our other colleagues in thanking the Chairman of the council for providing leadership. Most men, according to Abraham Lincoln, can survive the extremes of adversity but it takes a man’s full character, give him power.

Former governor state of osun Aregbesola, who was invited for the valedictory session, said: “Yes, the CBN governor has done wonderfully well, I read him in the papers today where he said that Nigeria must address unemployment. That is the big part of it, but the issue is that our economy is very small compared to the population.

“We must, therefore, address population as a nation that must radically grow the economy. I do have the solution to this but I think just as we have solved several problems from within this portal, we can equally address the issue of poverty in our nation so as to arrest some of the frightening social issues that are staring us in the face.

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