Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said for Nigeria to leap economically, she must build a knowledge-based economy such that the human capital can be sold across the globe.
The Vice President who stated this at the sixth Kaduna Investment Summit holding in the state capital on Thursday, noted that rather than natural resources, a well developed human capital remains an invaluable asset the world over.
The theme of the sixth edition of the summit is ‘Towards a Sustainable Knowledge -ased Economy.’
While saying that digital, Information & communication technology were performing wonders and ruling the world, Osinbajo lamented however that the country was yet to take full advantage of its young talents in this regards.
“The focus today must be developing a knowledge based economy. The knowledge based economy referred to stands for human capital development. Education and knowledge can become productive assets to be sold for profit rather than natural resources.
“Digital data, digital solutions to improve agricultural yields, digital platforms to provide online study. It is possible to move from where we are to knowledge economy. Millions of data in terabytes ate stored in chips, 1,000 megawatts of power can be stored in a battery. The future of financial technology is not in banks. Nigeria is becoming technology investment solution hub in sub Sahara Africa,” he said.
In his address, Governor Nasir El-Rufai said the state has so far attracted $2.8 bn investment through the summit and created 100,000 direct and indirect jobs.
El-Rufai noted with delight that the state rose from its 14th position to 4th position in Internally Generated Revenue realising N50.7bn in 2020.
He also said the state was developing a $50million 21.9kw solar mini grid at Igabi, adding that the state had been offered a $200million loan to build a bus rapid transit metro system in the state.
This was just as the governor said the state is investing N80bn on infrastructure development across the state.
He sent further to say that the state had signed an agreement Arla of Denmark to build a ranch for 1,000 Fulani herders’ families with facilities such as grass, water, schools and hospital.
The project, the governor said would gulp N12bn with N8bn from the Central Bank of Nigeria and N2bn from the state while “Arla will contribute €5million.”
El-Rufai said, “we will soon open Shoprite at the Galaxy Mall. A $650 million iron ore company to produce steel is nearing completion in Jere, Kagarko local government.
“We signed an agreement with Arla of Denmark to build a ranch that would settle 1,000 Fulani herders and their families with all facilities; grass, water, schools, hospitals at the cost of N12 billion. N8 billion is from CBN and N2 billion from Kaduna state. Arla will contribute €5 million.
“Over 5,000 young people have been trained in entrepreneurship, about 600 have submitted business plans and 200 of them have been funded by Bank of Industry (BOI) and the businesses are thriving. There is an ICT hub named Desert Valley, after the American Silicon Valley, for ICT training and development. We are working with Airtel to expand broadband access.
“More than 80% of our population are below 65 years and most of them living in the urban center Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan, we need jobs and infrastructural investment. We are investing N80 billion on massive road infrastructure in Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan.”
The President of the Afrexim Bank, Prof. Benedict Oramah while delivering his keynote address, noted that the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the risks associated with the country’s excessive dependence on primary commodity without adding value to the commodity.
According to him, anything that affects the price of crude oil will affect revenue allocation to the three tiers of government.
The Afremix Bank boss, however, expressed the optimism that the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would improve the intra Africa trade to reduce volatility across the global trade if effectively implemented.
Among dignitaries at the event are the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, the deputy governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Nuhu Bamali, former Emir of Kano, Muhammed Sanusi, top government officials from the state, captains of industries as well as traditional rulers.