Mr Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra state has blamed Nigeria poor economy on inadequate funding and investment in education.
Obi said this in Nsukka on Wednesday during University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) 60th Founders Day Lecture titled; “Nigeria at 60: The Journey Since the Third Republic.”
He said education all over the world remain the tool and driver of any economy and infrastructural development.
“For Nigeria to compete with developed nation’s the country must massively invest in education.
“the annual budget of Nigeria on education is an indication that government is not giving education the required attention it deserves.
“Adequate investment in education will create more employment, increase literacy level and reduce poverty level in the country.
“its unfortunate that no fewer than fifteen million children are at of school in the country, who knows what will be the contributions these if they are educated,” he said.
The people Democratic Party (PDP,) candidate in 2019 general elections urged those in government in the country to cut cost in governance by reducing number of aides, special assistants and other things that waste tax payers money.
“if those in government should cut cost by avoiding unnecessary expenditures it will help to give more communities infrastructural development as well as provide more employments,” he said.
He further explained that countries like China, India America, Britain and South Africa have good economy because they dedicated good per cent of their annual budget to education.
Obi, the People Democratic Party (PDP) Vice-president presidential candidate in 2019 general elections also urged Federal government to increase its financial assistance to micro small medium enterprise ( MSME) which not only boost economy but create more employment to the country.
“It’s investment in education and support of MSME that are boosting the economy China and other leading economies in the world,” he said
He expressed appreciation to UNN management for finding him worthy to deliver the diamond founders day lecture and said as UNN class of 1984 he would continue be a good ambassador of his alma mater.
“I am happy that my Alma mater invited me to deliver the diamond founders day lecture, I am humbled and overwhelmed,” he said.
In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of UNN Prof Charles Igwe said that this years founders day celebration was special because it is the 60th anniversary of UNN.
He said that the founders day celebration was set aside to celebrate the institutions founding fathers, whose vision birthed the University.
“May I extend a special greeting to President Samuel Stanley of Michigan State University that mentored us at inception and all other alumni and friend it the university who have connected virtually from different parts of the world.
“at 60, we believe we have a lot to celebrate and so much to be happy and be proud about, even as we have a mountain of challenges to surmount as we keep pace with our peers and meet the expectation of a 21st century learning institution,” he said.
The VC who used the opportunity to enumerate some of the infrastructural needs of the university.
“Our infrastructural needs include additional spaces to serve as a classrooms, laboratories, theaters, hostels.
“We also need to make huge investments to improve the state of the roads and other municipal infrastructure, including power generation and water distribution.
“we must also fund additional investment in ICT infrastructure to be able to mount effective online classes as we seek to decongest our classroom in response to the covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
Earlier Dr. Tunde Lemo in an opening remarks via zoom thanked Obi for honouring the event and the university management for organizing the occasion adding that he’s happy that the institution is using the occasion to raise funds for infrastructural development of the university.
The highpoint of the occasion was the flag off of the University Diamond Jubilee Capital Campaign by the former Governor and cutting of the anniversary cake by the VC and some institutions Council members.