Human Capital, Technology Key to Nigeria’s Growth - Prof Acemoglu

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019 8:30AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: First Bank

 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”), USA, Professor of Political Economy, Daron Acemoglu, has said that  for Nigeria to attain strong economic growth, she must invest heavily in human capital and technology. 

Professor Acemoglu was the guest speaker at the 125th Anniversary lecture of First Bank of Nigeria. 

Speaking on the theme “Institutional Impact on Economic Growth & Improving Living Standards” Acemoglu  said that Nigeria must adopt a holistics approach to technology to improve economic productivity. 

He emphasized the need for Nigerian governments at all levels to give priority to investments in health and education. 

The Turkish born economist asserted that having people with expertise in critical fields will go a long way in helping to drive the nation’s competitiveness. 

Looking at Democracy, the political-economist was of the view that it was still the best form of socio-political system, despite the attacks it has experienced. 

He emphasised the need for inclusive institutions as catalysts for Nigeria’s sustained growth, noting that it will provide massive opportunities for millions of Nigerians in a fair economic system. 

Speaking further he stressed that democracies in emerging economies like Nigeria, will demand accountability from government and the involvement of the citizens in the governance process. 

Citing tax issues he described Lagos State as an example of a Sub-National that has made a pact with the citizens, to provide governance and services to the people as they continue play their  part in  paying taxes. 

Acemoglu said this should be the model across the country and at the federal level, as the morality for paying taxes in Nigeria, should be transparency and accountability in governance. 

Professor Acemoglu said that from his research, countries that practised democracy had a correlation with rapid economic growth. 

Despite the Chinese statist model and Russian model, Acemoglu said dictatorial political systems do not translate to high-quality growth. 

In the area of international trade and engagements with global economic powers like China, Acemoglu advised the Nigerian government to ensure that agreements and pacts are according to their terms. 

He tasked the Nigerian government to embrace criticisms from international agencies especially in the areas of transparency, anti-corruption and human rights. 

The lecture also featured a panel session that discussed “African nations in the era of global inter-dependence” which featured the Nigerian Minister for Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the CEO Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority(NSIA) Mr Uche Orji, the Country Manager, International Finance Corporation, Nigeria, Mrs Eme Essien Lore, Professor George Gyan Baffour, Minister for Budget and Planning, Ghana, Professor Daron Acemoglu, MIT, USA while the session was moderated by Dr Doyin Salami of the Lagos Business School. 

Special Guest of Honour at the event was the Wife of the Vice President Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, while other government functionaries like Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN,  Minister for Power, Works and Housing was in attendance. 

Eminent Royal Fathers that attended the Anniversary lecture include HRH Lamido Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano, and former MD/CEO of First Bank. 

Present at the event were Board members of FBN Holdings led by the Chairman Dr Oba Otudeko, CFR, and GMD, Mr U.K Eke, MFR and the Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, Mrs Ibukun Awosika alongside the MD/CEO of the bank, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, with other executives.

 

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