For Nigeria to thrive it must invest in human capital – Bill Gates

The American business magnate,founder of Microsoft Corporation and chairman Bill and Melinda Foundation, Bill Gates, has faulted the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, saying Nigeria will only thrive when every Nigerian is able to thrive.

He urge Buhari led administration to invest in human capital.

Gates,stated this at expanded National Economic Council, NEC, presided over by Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo at the old Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja.

 

He said,investing in our people’ as one of three ‘strategic objectives. But the ‘execution priorities’ don’t fully reflect people’s needs, prioritizing physical capital over human capital.Nigeria’s fiscal situation was at a low equilibrium, adding that in return for low levels of service, people pay low levels of tax.

The philanthropist said Nigeria had unmatched economic potential but that what became of the potential depended on the choices its leaders make.

“The most important choice you can make is to maximize your greatest resources, the Nigerian people. Nigeria will thrive when every Nigerian is able to thrive.

“If you invest in health, education, and opportunities – the ‘human capital’ we are talking about today – then they will lay the foundation for sustained prosperity. If you don’t, however, then it is very important to recognize that there will be a sharp limit on how much the country can grow.

“Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth, with the fourth worst maternal mortality rate in the world ahead of only Sierra Leone, Central African Republic and Chad. One in three Nigerian children is chronically malnourished.

founder of Microsoft Corporation said,quality of life, of Nigeria still looks like a low-income country. Let me give a few examples.

“In the middle income countries, the average life expectancy is 75 years. In lower middle income countries, it’s 68. In low income countries, it’s 62. In Nigeria, it is lower still: just 53 years.

“Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth, with the fourth worst maternal mortality rate in the world, ahead of only Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, and Chad.

“One in three Nigerian children is chronically malnourished. I do not enjoy speaking to you this bluntly when you have been gracious enough to invite me here. But I am applying an important lesson I earned from Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

He said that he has also committed the sum of $1.6 billion in Nigeria with a plan to increase the amount.his foundation with the largest headquarters in Africa is sited in Nigeria.

“I urge you to apply this thinking to all your investments in your people. The Nigerian government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan identifies ‘investing in our people as one of three strategic objectives.’

But the ‘execution priorities’ don’t fully reflect people’s needs, prioritizing physical capital over human capital. “To anchor the economy over the long term, investments in infrastructure and competitiveness must go hand in hand with investments in people. People without roads, ports, and factories can’t flourish.

And roads, ports and factories without skilled workers to build and manage them can’t sustain an economy. “Right now, Nigeria’s fiscal situation is at what you might call a low equilibrium. In return for low levels of service, people pay low levels of tax. We hope to help you reach a higher equilibrium rooted in effective and transparent investments in people. This equilibrium would trigger a virtuous cycle.”

The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has agreed with Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, that the success of Nigeria’s efforts at national development will depend on determined application of human skills and efforts from people who are healthy, educated and empowered.

Osinbajo said that government is fully aware that human resources are critical for the developing the economy and this is the major reason why the current administration is doing everything possible to improve basic infrastructural essential for enrichment of proper human life.

“Nigeria has strong economic growth and development ambitions encapsulated in our Economic Recovery And Growth Plan which we launched in 2017. All of those lofty ambitions can only be achieved through the determined application of human skill and effort and for that effort to be meaningful and productive, it has to come from people who are healthy, educated and who empowered.”

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