Friday, October 02, 2020 / 9:53AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: The Guardian Nigeria
Agro-processing and Education should serve as key anchors for driving Nigeria's economic transformation and competitiveness at the global level.
The Founder and Chairman of Phillips Consulting Limited Africa, Mr. Foluso Phillips disclosed this as a guest on the discourse on Nigeria's 60th-anniversary celebrations, which was an opportunity to reflect on corporate leadership and the progress of the nation.
He said that Nigeria like other nations must come to the understanding of its value proposition to emerge as a competitive economy, that can create opportunities for its citizens.
According to him, agro-processing and agro-industrialization as the lead policy anchor will guarantee food security for the country, and drive socio-economic activities in the nation.
Secondly, he picked Education as the sector that can serve as another strong value proposition which should position Nigeria as a global hub for learning and human capital development.
Citing India and China, he believed that the nation can export highly intelligent and skillful people to various parts of the globe, through an instrumental education system that integrates skills development, formal education and vocational training.
Taking a historical perspective he noted that between 1990 and 2000 globalization took advantage of a value chain that was characterized by productivity, which India and China benefitted from because of the blue-collar jobs shipped from the western nations.
Phillips decried the fact that Africa and Nigeria did not utilize the opportunities in the globalization era because of the issues of productivity and the dearth in human capital that could take the "blue-collar" jobs.
With the fourth industrial revolution driven by digital technology, Phillips emphasized the need for Nigeria to leverage the 21st century and invest in digital skills and the enabling infrastructure like broadband to compete with China and India for the "white-collar jobs".
"The COVID 19 pandemic has brought to the fore the need for reinvestments in the digital economy and the infrastructure, which is critical to deepening digital learning and boosting digital skills", he said.
Concerning the Nigeria of his dreams, the former Chairman of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) said "It is a country with well-educated, active and healthy people that have total respect for the law. With these, the infrastructure in place will fit into and support the growth of the nation".
Looking at the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) he noted that it provided an opportunity for Nigerian firms to create larger markets for their products and services.
He agreed with the notion that the rule of law was an important component of ensuring that various institutions in the country perform their roles effectively towards guaranteeing a stable, just and equitable society that creates opportunities for all its citizens.