Thursday, April 18, 2024

Dangote Advocates Knowledge-Based Economy In Nigeria

Africa’s billionaire, Aliko Dangote has advocated the need for Nigeria to transition from resource-based economy to knowledge-based economy in order to join industrialised nations.

The President of Dangote Conglomerate and Kano born Industrialist made the call while delivering a paper titled “Role of the private sector in building a sustainable knowledge economy in Nigeria” at the 38th Convocation lecture of the Bayero University Kano, North West Nigeria.

Represented by Engr. Mansir Ahmed, Dangote said, countries like South Korea, India, China and the Asian tigers who institutionalised knowledge economy are now reaping the benefits of such initiatives.

According to him, “Given the tremendous benefits that knowledge economy offers, it is vital that Nigeria makes the transition from a resource – based economy to knowledge – base economy.

Dangote noted that, “the World Bank states that for Nigeria to make the transition to knowledge economy, it must pay attention to the business environment, education and skills, innovation systems and information communication infrastructure.

“A major challenge in transitioning to knowledge economy for Nigeria is the quality of the Nigerian worker. The quality of human assets matters a lot in the operations of a firm. Our educational system which produces most of the human assets working  in various firms in Nigeria needs to be modified to yield the desired results.

The system as presently constituted produces graduates who may have excellent qualifications but lack the necessary skills to perform optimally. We have thousand of graduates on a yearly basis but selecting those with the required skills is often a tough task. The educational system should incorporate findings from the research institutions in their programmes as well as relevant management skills that would equip students for excellence after studies.

“Our universities in partnership with private sector players, and necessary support from government should establish innovation or technology hubs. BUK for instance, can collaborate with private sector (KAPEDI) with the full support of the Kano State government to upgrade and formalise the informal telephone market at the farm centre in Kano into a real technology entrepreneurship hub – as the Lagos State Government is reported to be doing with the Ikeja computer village.”

Aliko Dangote said, as part of his contribution to the growth of knowledge economy in Nigeria, Dangote Group  established the Aliko Dangote Foundation with an endowment of $1.25 billion to contribute to socio-economic development especially in the areas of education, health and empowerment, and currently working on a partnership arrangement with the Kano State government to upgrade and equip the state owned Aliko Dangote Modern Skills acquisition centre to train youths in various vocations while plans were underway to establish a state of art of the university of technology as well as a specialist hospital.

The Vice Chancellor Bayero University Kano BUK, Prof. Sagir Abbas said, the establishment of Dangote school in the institution has added a lot of value to BUK as it has produced thousands of Post Graduate.

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