CO-chairman of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, has berated the Federal Government’s investments in young people, especially in areas of health and education, saying it is not good enough.
He said this in an interview with Cable News Network, CNN.
Gates, who is the world’s second richest man, reiterated the comments he made when he spoke at the expanded National Economic Council meeting in Abuja, last Thursday.
At the meeting, which was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Gates had said the execution priorities of the economic recovery and growth plan does not reflect the true needs of Nigerians.
He said: “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, prioritising physical capital over human capital.”
“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”, he added.
Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state, at the meeting, had defended the federal government, saying Gates’ comment was incorrect.
But, in the chat with CNN, the billionaire businessman defended his criticism of the government.
He said: “As a partner in Nigeria, I am saying the current plan is inadequate. Nigeria has all these young people and the current quality and quantity of investment in these young generations; in health and education just isn’t good enough. So, I was very direct.
“If they can get health and education right, they will be an engine of growth not just for themselves but for all of Africa.”