Former governor of Anambra State and vice presidential candidate of the the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi, has called for allocation of more resources to the education sector as it holds the key to the future of the economy.
Obi stated this in a keynote address at the Centre for Strategic Leadership and Youth Orientation at the Senator Uche Ekwunife Centre, Awka, at the weekend.
Obi, who decried the over-reliance on crude oil as the country’s source of external revenue, said countries that recorded quantum leap in economic development did so through the deployment of knowledge and technology developed by their education sector and not through crude oil.
Obi cited the Arab countries that are richly endowed with oil, yet trying to expand their industrial bases as well as investing heavily in their people, in an attempt to look beyond oil.
Said Obi: “Let’s use empirical evidence to buttress our point. Venezuela, a small South-American country with a population of just 31 million people, has over 300 billion barrels of oil reserves, bigger than Saudi-Arabia’s 297 billion and yet Venezuela is in crisis. Nigeria has only 35.3 billion reserves and everyday you see our people falling over one another because of oil. It is important you know that the greatest revenue earners come from marketing intellectual output. In 2018, for instance, Nigeria’s total earning from oil was about 18 billion dollars, Facebook within the same period earned over 55 billion Dollars. This shows you that future survival of countries, lies beyond oil.”
Obi, decried the castigation of the Nigerian youths as unproductive, challenging the Federal Government to first of all provide for the youths same opportunities as other countries do for their youths, before denigrating them.