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Experts want FG to invest in education, health, others

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Some experts in the field of education and health have called on the Federal Government to invest more in learning, wellbeing, and exports in preparedness for the year 2050.
   
The experts, who spoke as panelists at the ongoing Social Media Week (SMW) 2020, themed: “Nigeria 2050: Shifting Gears,” noted that the earlier the country began to prepare, the better it is to realising the potential.
   
Senior Economist at Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Wilson Erumebor, said the UN projects that Nigeria’s population would double in size by 2050, and only a competitive private sector economy could help achieve a rising standard of living.

   
He noted that the Nigerian government needed to start implementing policies and making an investment in the right places to cater for an additional 250 million people by 2050.
 
Erumebor said the population is expected to be about 400 million, with the majority below the age of 35.
   
“To prepare ahead of that time, our indicators of progress must include poverty, income inequality, health and wellbeing, gender gap, jobs, and industry-ready skills.
   
“An extra 250 million people would need food, jobs, a healthcare system that works, and education among others.
   
“Ending poverty in Nigeria would entail improving the country’s economic productivity and opportunities for its citizens.
   
“This will mean investing in human capital potential and creating jobs for women and young people, increasing financial access and opportunities for those groups in rural communities,” he said.
   
Erumebor noted that the government has a huge role to play in the area of building infrastructure to increase Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
   
He noted that three scenarios should be expected by the year 2050, either Nigeria remains at the status quo or regains position as the giant of Africa and the world or deteriorates.
   
Founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria, Dr. Ola Brown, said the country has a huge problem when it came to infrastructure, and it was vital for the government to resolve the issue as fast as possible.
   
She said to prepare for 2050; policymakers should start thinking of how to increase economic productivity.
   
Brown added that Nigeria needs to improve in the area of exports to boost the economy, saying: “Most times we consume what we do not produce. It is high time we start doing more of exports than imports.
   
“Under normal circumstances, a country’s population could be cited as a strength, but in Nigeria’s case, population growth outpaces public infrastructure.
 
“To change this narrative, improvement is needed in the area of healthcare, productivity, investment, and increased government spending,” Brown said.
   
Special Adviser to the Governor on SDG’s Lagos State, Solape Hammond, said the state is preparing ahead in the area of partnering with the private sector to provide security for citizens through its Lagos State Security Trust Fund.

Hammond said to curb unemployment; the Lagos State Government has provided funds for small businesses.
   
“The government set aside about N7.5billion for 10,000 businesses, which shows that Lagos is improving with a lot of potentials, “ she said.


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