Switching to human knowledge economy for transformational growth
The need for leaders across the country to focus attention on human knowledge economy by prioritising education, investing hugely in the sector and ensuring quality delivery has been stressed. Stakeholders who converged on Lagos last weekend for the “Crescent Bearers’ 80th anniversary lecture, themed, “Education as a resource for growth and development of a nation: The Nigerian case” concluded that improving the educational system and investing in human capital development is the only hope to an all-round development.
They maintained that education is one of the fundamental factors of growth, as no country can achieve sustainable economic development without substantial investment in human capital. They also assured that with quality education, the country’s population will become its huge assets, as education does not only increase human productivity and creativity, it also promotes entrepreneurship and technological advancements, the speakers concluded in their respective remarks.
Former vice chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Rahaman Bello, who chaired the occasion said, “Education is necessarily the bedrock for national development, and for Nigeria, it can’t be any different. We haven’t gotten it right yet, but we must get it right if we want to remain a great nation and God’s given nation.
“As the focus on petroleum goes off as it would soon in the next decade economy, the human knowledge economy would be what Nigeria would need to be able to keep up and maintain itself. Our population is growing at an astronomical rate and the only way we can really take care of ourselves is to fully be educated, be able to apply technology for ourselves, be able to assist ourselves and create things here in Nigeria to support the nation and be able to export them to other countries.
He continued: “I know we are currently exporting, but it’s not in an astronomical rate. By that time, we would be able to develop appropriately and do things ourselves, and develop everything that we need in-house so we can export to the world and contribute to the world economy. That is the only way we can move forward, and it can only happen through education.”
The keynote speaker and Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, while congratulating the organisation for the milestone achieved over nine decades of its existence, stated that there is no progressive society without a viable educational system.
“No nation can be greater than the quality of its educational institutions. Your efforts to use education to address the relative disadvantage of members of the society is certainly a model of what a community can do to make the society better. Education is the key to any nation’s growth and development.
“It is true that the population of any country is its greatest asset, but that asset can become a liability, unless it is nurtured through education. If you want to understand the current situation of any country, go no further but look at the state of its educational institution. When we talk about education in this country, we should cast our net wide and go beyond literacy and numeracy, but also to provide some sound moral content,” he said.
Insisting that character and learning must be combined for education to have real meaning and for products to serve as agents of social transformation, the INEC boss said nations must provide qualitative and relevant education.
“The richest people in the world are no longer in the oil and gas, and mining, they are into the knowledge economy of the 21st century. The 25 richest people in the world in 2019 are largely in the IT economy of the 21st century,” he said.Chairman, Crescent Bearers, Wahab Dabiri, had earlier noted that 16 Bearers formed the idea in 1939, out of love for humanity.
“Crescent Bearers are made up of people who are in their 90’s and those in their 40’s who have come together and decided among themselves to make promotion of education and morals among Muslims in the society a priority and also charity support to indigent citizens. It was founded 80 years ago by a group of 16 young men as at that time, who get together once in a month and decide to enjoy each other’s company, before it was expanded.”