Former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke has heaped the blame of frequent clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the country on population explosion.
Duke who stated this at a public lecture organized by the Nigeria Movement for Positive Change (NPMC) in Lagos said the development has made it difficult for pastoralists to graze their herds of cattle.
According to him, Nigeria’s population had doubled, adding that the productivity of the country is not commensurate with the population explosion.
He said, “unfortunately we are still behaving like nothing has changed. Between 1979 and 1983, our population was about 90m but President Shehu Shagari spent an average of $25bn every year. So in four years, he spent $100bn.
“The budget being proposed to the National Assembly today is N8.6trillion. But in dollar term, it is $23bn. If you divide 8.6trillion by N360, you will get $23bn.
“So you have doubled in population but your budget has reduced 38 years after. If after almost 40 years, what you are spending today is less than what you spent then and your population has more than doubled, then you can understand all the crisis that we are facing today.
“The issue of herdsmen’s crisis for instance is a population pressure without the commensurate growth in productivity of the individuals. Days herdsmen always roamed back and forth
“Right now our nation is in a very critical place and if something is not done and urgently too we are not just going to be a nuisance to ourselves. We are going to be a nuisance to the entire sub-region because Nigeria is like a dam, if that dam should burst it would flood all of west Africa. Our population is more than half of West Africa and it is growing astronomically but our economic indices are not growing as fast which is the challenge we have.”