By Favour Nnabugwu
The high population of three states in the federation pose serious challenges to the provision of basic infrastructure and social amenities by the Federal and state governments.
The three states are Lagos, Kano and Abuja, according to the, The Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mr Nduese Essien who disclosed this in Abuja listed the affected states as Lagos, Abuja and Kano.. He explained that the increasing population in these three states dents the provision of infrastructure and social services by government.
“By 2050, It is projected that urban populations worldwide will grow by three billion out of which 0.8billion will be domiciled in Africa. The reality of these statistics can be observed on the streets of our cities especially Lagos, Kano and Abuja. “Such population magnitudes have the tendency of overwhelming infrastructure and social services,” he said.
With Nigeria’s total population growing at an annual rate of 3.2 percent and a 63 percent increase in 15 years, Kano is one of Nigerian most populated states in Nigeria with a population of about 9.38 million people. This figure places the Northern state ahead of the 9.01 million people living in Lagos State. 19 northern states and the Federal Capital together account for 53.59 per cent of Nigeria’s population, with the remaining 46.41 per cent in the 17 states of the south.
The United Nations also put the population of Lagos city at 10.9 million in 1996, projecting it would rise to become the world’s third most populous city with 24.6 million inhabitants by 2015 while Abuja is one of the most recently developed cities in Nigeria. The Federal Capital Territory, Abuja has the smallest population of any state with just 1.4 million inhabitants, but has by far the highest rate of population growth which is put at 9.3 percent.
The situation in the three states mentioned, according to Essien, is further compounded by weak institutions, technical inadequacies and funding constraints.
“The world has become decisively urban and ever growing cities have continued to grapple with population, institutional, infrastructure and countless resource challenges”
Dr Yakub Bashorun, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, in an interview with Vanguard Homes & Property stated that Lagos has become a melting point like a mini Nigeria in the country where people troop in on a daily basis.
The population of Lagos, he said, is its strength although it also poses a lot of challenges to the government of the state.