LAGOS, Nigeria; March 29, 2018

 

BudgIT has called on the Nigerian government at all levels to invest in citizens as this is the only guarantee to a safe and sustainable country. At an event tagged “Investing in the People of Nigeria”, different young speakers harped the need to invest in health, education and other sectors that equalize opportunities for more Nigerians. The conversation was held in the context of the presentation by world’s biggest philanthropist, Bill Gates, to the expanded session of the National Economic Council. Participants watched the entire presentation and provided immense feedback on the need for governments to prioritize the welfare of the people.

Notable speakers at the event include Mr Oluseun Onigbinde, Bisi Ogunwale, Cheta Nwanze, Adebola Williams, Dr Ify Aniebo and Fati Abubakar. Keynote speaker, Adebola Williams said, “it is up to us to make the human capital investment a sustainable cornerstone of our growth”. Bisi Ogunwale, an experienced impact investor, lamented on the decay in the education sector due to weak investments therein. According to him, “about 1.5million people write JAMB ever year, while only around 30% of that find their way into the tertiary institutions”.

Fati Abubakar, a frontline photographer, also expressed that poor investments in the young people of the North East created the current nine-year insurgency that has claimed lives and ruined every sector. According to her, “radicalization started because we did not invest in our people; it followed from idleness and lack of role models”. Ify Aniebo, an Oxford-trained scientist, stated that investing in healthcare in Nigeria must also include investing in the health professionals, training and research.

BudgIT intends to expand the conversation to other cities in Nigeria, curating feedback for the Nigerian government. This is to strengthen the political will and the long-term thinking that ensures that Nigeria invests as its expanding young population. According to Cheta Nwanze, an intelligence expert, “We need to up our productivity however we can to be able to invest in education to meet our expanding population; do we have the political will?”

The event which was beamed live by Channels Television had many young Nigerian citizens engaging on the urgency to harness the expanding population of the country, build a nation that values talent and invest in the social infrastructure of its people.