BILL GATES AND MYSELF: Saying very related things same day About Governance In Nigeria

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“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…

The Nigerian government’s economic recovery and growth plan identify 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…

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

“If you invest in their health, education and opportunities, the human capital we are talking about today then; that will lay the foundation for sustained prosperity…

If you don’t, however, then it is very important to recognise that there will be a sharp limit on how much the country can grow.” Bill Gates” Bill Gates.

I wrote the same day (probably earlier than Bill Gates’ statement):

“Passing through Rigasa from Kaduna town brought me face to face with the development gap around the country. The expressway passing through the town was under construction without any sign of serious work going on for completion. From one end of the expressway to another, I didn’t notice one out of the more than one hundred roads penetrating the town that was tarred. The few schools on the main road were in a terrible state that leave one with the ominous imagination of how badly those deep inside look. From what I observed, the state of water supply and health-care services is better imagined. In my view, upgrading Rigasa alone to a decent settlement may require three times the present budget of Kaduna State Government.

Rigasa’s is one example of slums that spring and thrive around our major cities. At least, I can mention Nakasari and Gagi around Sokoto as well as Garki village around Abuja which are in sharp contrast with the main city neighbourhood in living standards. Rigasa may have some hope with the airport and rail station around it.

Slums around Nigerian cities have the potential to pose serious security risk to the nation.

Addressing their challenge is apt as it is urgent. My view of the way forward revolves around the role of citizens and governments. Nigerian citizens have the role of responsible family size, economic productivity and civic role of paying their tax. Government on the other hand needs to assume transparent and accoubtable posture in all its programmes and operations just as it can significantly play the strategic role of making the citizens play their role -to add to the circularity of this thought, transparency and accountability is a great instrument in this regard.”

By Dr. Mikail Barau

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