Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, on Monday in London, gave two conditions that must be met for Nigeria to overcome its economic difficulties and for Africa to develop. The conditions, he said while speaking to newsmen after the high-level discussions at the British House of Commons, include huge investment in education and skill acquisition, as well as meaningful support for Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs).
“Nigeria must focus on investing in education and skill acquisition in order to turn round its economy, and drastically reduce the level of youth unemployment,” Obi, who revolutionised the education sector in Anambra State during his days as governor, said.
He maintained that Nigeria must see education and skill acquisition as an investment as this would help to diversify and grow the country’s economy.
Obi noted that from the discussions it was evident that there are huge opportunities in Africa, “but to achieve these, Africa requires huge investment in education and skill acquisition, as well as hugely supporting SMEs – which will help build a prosperous future for herself.”
The former governor, who since leaving office in 2014, has devoted enormous resources towards the promotion of education around the continent, added that “for Africa to transit from exporter of raw commodities to a manufacturer of finished goods, and become a significant member of the global technological world her people must be educated.”
Chaired by Chi Onwurah MP (Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Africa), the discussions were attended by captains of industry and other British MPs and peers, among them Lord Chidgey, Co-Chair from the House of Lords of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Africa. Also in attendance were Lord Marland, Chairman of the Common Wealth Enterprise and Investment Council; Baroness Lynda Chalker of Wallasey; Emma Wade-Smith, Regional Trade Commissioner for Africa, who presented the keynote address; and David Luke, Co-ordinator of the African Trade Policy and the UN Economic Commission for Africa, who was also a guest speaker.