Population and Economic Prosperity

Your large population does not mean that you have a robust economy. The fundamentals of a rich and robust economy is not just the people, but the level of productivity. The Bible says, “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). This is a reminder that it is doing the right things at a national scale, that makes a positive difference. There is a lot of good being done in small pockets across the country, but it has to be done at a scale that matters. You are not wrong to think that having a large population could be an economic advantage. However, it does not count if the people are not trained to be productive.

Robust economies are driven by productivity and not just the population. Singapore, a small island city-state with a population of under six million people has a GDP of around $340 Billion. A much larger country like Nigeria with a large population of over two hundred million people has a GDP of “just” $432.3 Billion (all 2020 figures). Nigeria has clearly failed to leverage its large population to create value at a scale that matters. We need to understand this, so that we are no longer under the illusion that the USA’s $20.94 Trillion GDP for 2020 is somehow a magical, unexplainable consequence of their large population (329.5 million in 2020).

Wealth is created by people who understand productivity and value creation. Singapore has a reputation for having a well educated, disciplined and efficient workforce. Nigeria is best understood as a country of poor productivity. Nigeria has a reputation for having a poorly educated, undisciplined and inefficient workforce. To make matters worse, everything is politicized, and that makes addressing the fundamental issues hard. There are a lot of good things achieved individually by Nigerians, but there is nothing going on at a scale that matters. That country (Nigeria) is best described as a reproach at scale. We need a watchman (that’s you, by the way), that would help steer the people towards moral and spiritual integrity, virtuous character and productivity.

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