Founder of Microsoft Corporation Bill Gates on Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria faulted part of the Nigerian Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). He said the implementation of the ERGP is at odds and out of touch with the needs of Nigerians. The ERGP, was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari as a medium-term plan for 2017-2020, that sets out an ambitious roadmap to achieve a seven percent growth rate for the country by 2020. It is aimed at restoring economic growth while leveraging the ingenuity and resilience of Nigerians.
Dangote, Bill Gates and Buhari
But Gates, while delivering a speech at the special and expanded National Economic Council on Investment in Human Capital in Abuja, suggested the plan got part of its priorities wrong. “The Nigerian government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan identifies investing in our people as one of three strategic executives, but the execution priorities don’t fully reflect people’s needs – prioritizing physical capital over human capital,” he said.According to Gates, Nigeria can only maximise its enormous potential when citizens are well equipped. As such, he expects the government to prioritise human capital development. “Nigeria will thrive when every Nigerian is able to thrive, If you invest in their health, education and opportunities, the human capital that we are talking about today, then that will lay the foundation for sustained prosperity,” Gates said.
Without human capital development, the billionaire believes there will be “a sharp limit on how much the country can grow”. He stressed the need for the country to act fast by analysing the state of country’s health sector. “Much of Nigeria still looks like a low-income country. Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth,” he said. “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.”
Several Reaction have trailed the pronouncement in the social media as shown.
- Former Nigerian Aviation Minister Twitted:
- Stephanie Findlay twitted
- Sage David Twitted
- Bill Gates Himself Twitted