By Providence Obuh
ONDO State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko has decried the incredible volume of resources that gets out of the country daily, disclosing that N80 billion leaves Nigeria yearly for the United Kingdom (UK) Universities and another one billion naira is being spent financing rice import on a daily basis.
Mimiko who gave a keynote address during the Academy for Entrepreneurial Studies (AES) Excellence Club dinner disclosed further that N240 billion is spent yearly to import sugar, expressing disbelieve that such could happen in a country where 60 per cent of its cultivatable land is still lying fallow.
“We must pay attention to education, in UK, from records, we have about 68,300 Nigeria students, by computation what they pay for flight tickets for up keep and tuition are about 50,000 euro minimum, these goes to mean that every year, N80 billion leaves Nigeria to UK university.”
“If we must retain some aggregate of capital that is to create the jobs that will take our graduates off the street, we must do something about education, am not saying it is bad for people to get educated at all cost,” he said.
Ondo state Governor recalled a discussion with the Minister in charge of education and welfare in the Nigeria high
commission in UK saying there are 71,000 Nigerian students in Ghana, a figure he termed scary to be acceptable.
He said, “I know that in Togo we have thousands of Nigerians, in Malaysia, in Cairo, so you are almost talking of trillions getting out because our educational system has collapsed in this country.”
He said these are critical areas of development that the Federal Government, stakeholders, every Nigeria alike must pay attention to, advising the country to learn from country’s that have developed like India.
Speaking on the cassava bread initiative, he said it should be encouraged as cassava bread manufacturing can create more than a million jobs in one year.
Recalling how Mr. President was seen holding up cassava bread in the news paper, he said “I was proud of him, I love it, we must appreciate all these and also join in all of these.”
He pointed out that people wonder where China money is coming from, meanwhile, he cited that China has the highest savings rate in the world, both in government, corporate and house hold income.
Specifically, he explained that the number of those spending less than one US dollar daily rose from 27 per cent in 1980 to 65 per cent in 1996, stating that the country’s development index rating in 2010 was not encouraging as Nigeria ranked 147 out of 177 nations.
He said that there are opportunities of untapped and unexploited market of over 150 million people, saying “we know where we are in terms of power, South Africa is about 50 million people, they are producing 40 thousand MW of electricity and they are still producing more.
”For 50 million people, 40 thousand MW, we are 158 million people and we are still hovering around 2,300 to 4,000 MW, you can see the gap that we are talking about,” he said.