By Nkiruka Nnorom

The Managing Director/CEO of Cowry Asset Management, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, has identified the development of a quality educational system and improvement in the quality of the country’s labour force as the foundation for building a productive and thriving Nigerian economy.

Speaking at the just concluded 2022 Vanguard Economic Discourse in Lagos yesterday, Chukwu  said that developing a strong educational system and labour force would make the country investment-ready for prospective investors.

Citing China and India as examples, Chukwu said that both countries have built very strong and effective educational systems that have developed the right kind of skills that made it possible for industries to set up in China, while Indian was able to export skilled labour abroad.

He said: “We have a labour force that has to be developed. So, the first thing you have to do is that if you want to drive your own uniqueness as a country, you must define an overarching economic policy.

“For instance, if you want to be a productive economy like what China and India have done, the next thing you have to do is determine how to tap into the natural resources and labour force in place. To tap into the labour force, you have to micromanage the educational system.

“If you look at the demography of the country, more than 42.5 per cent of the population are below the age of 23. For you to tap that, you must go back to the educational system. We must make sure every young person has, at the minimum, in today’s world, a STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). They must be at the foundation of our educational curriculum. If you do that, we are going to have something to sell to the world and the world will come to us.”

He said there is a need for the government to step back from striving to build infrastructure and concentrate on regulation and supervision of the economy.


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