The Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, David Young, Tuesday described Nigeria’s projected population growth as extraordinary, warning that it might compound conflicts in the future.
He spoke during a condolence visit to Plateau State over last month’s attack that claimed over 200 lives.
He also met with Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) in parts of Barkin Ladi as well as two Imams who helped save the lives of many persons from the attackers.
Young said in just over 30 years, Nigeria’s population would likely reach 400 million, adding “It means that Nigeria will probably have the third most people in the world after China and India and if you think about this growth especially across the north of Nigeria and to the middle belt, it means that there will be a greater pressure on the land, greater pressure on resources and these conflicts that evolve into violence particularly between herders and farmers will become even more of a challenge in the future.”
He said emphasis must be placed on getting to the root causes of the farmers/herders crisis for a better future for both.
“This is so that there can be a future for the herdsmen whether in ranching or other kinds of things where they can have opportunities for their cows to become of higher quality to produce more milk and meat, to create different options that people can transition to and also helping farmers become more productive so they can use their lands better to produce more food,” he said.