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Why I spoke directly to Nigerian leaders – Bill Gates

The Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,  Mr.  Bill Gates, again on Monday criticised the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

Gates, in an interview with the CNN, said that the Federal Government’s investment in education and health was not good enough.

“While it may be easier to be polite, it’s more important to face facts so that you can make progress,” the philanthropist told a room of Nigeria’s government elite that included the President.

In an exclusive television interview with the CNN, Gates said he spoke out to implore Nigerian politicians to focus on human capital and its large youth population.

“The current quality and quantity of investment in this young generation in health and education just isn’t good enough. So, I was very direct,” he told CNN.

The philanthropist had at a special session of the National Economic Council, on Thursday, said Nigeria would do better with strong investments in health and education, rather than concentrate on physical infrastructure to the detriment of human capital development.

He had said,  “Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth, with the fourth worst maternal mortality rate in the world ahead of only Sierra Leone, Central African Republic and Chad. One in three Nigerian children is chronically malnourished.

“In upper middle-income countries, the average life expectancy is 75 years. In lower middle-income countries, it’s 68; in low-income countries, it’s 62. In Nigeria, it is lower still, just 53 years.

“The Nigerian government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan identifies investing in the 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.”

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About Don Saint

PR Guru / Author / Promoter / Controversial Writer / Hip Hop Artiste / Actor / Human Rights Activist. The First Nigerian Hip Hop Artiste to obtain a Masters Degree (M.A) in Arts ( Religion & Human Relations). The author of one of the most controversial books in Nigeria; "Emancipation from Masturbation". With over 12 Movies and 3 Musical albums since 2003. Former Events Manager at Silverbird’s Rhythm Fm Awka Station till 2010. For more info. Call : 08033239298, 08056381068.

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