A financial analyst, Mr Atiku Samuel, has advised the Federal Government to increase investment in education to facilitate actualization of its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
Samuel, who is a lead researcher with BudgIT, an advocacy group, gave the advice in an interview in Lagos.
He said that a more educated populace would drive the process and ensure success of the plan.
The ERGP, which covers the period 2017 to 2020, was launched on April 5, 2017.
The plan, initiated by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, contains 60 critical areas expected to push Nigeria out of recession and reposition it for sustainable growth.
It focuses on five execution priorities central to achieving the seven per cent growth projected by the end of the Plan period.
The priority areas include Stabilizing the Macroeconomic Environment; Achieving Agriculture and Food Security; Expansion of Energy Infrastructure capacities (power and petroleum); and Improving Transportation Infrastructure.
It also includes driving industrialization principally through local and small business enterprises.
“The ERGP is a wonderful plan but it might be threatened by the current large illiterate population and weak science and technology environment.”
“This can be strengthened through enhanced knowledge and increased investment on government’s part in education,’’ the financial analyst said.”
Samuel said that achieving inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction could be attained by developing the capacity of the youth population and workforce to drive implementation of the plan.
He said that high level literacy and technology advancement would reduce poverty and crime, contribute to economic growth and improve the quality of life of citizens.
The financial analyst added that government should leverage on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for effective implementation of the ERGP.
He also urged government to bridge literacy and skill gaps by integrating Massive Open Online Courses into the training of youths and its workforce.
“With Nigeria’s illiteracy rate standing at over 50 percent and training of staff low due to limited resources, it has become a matter of national urgency that we evolve mechanism that can address the situation.”
“Since most of these courses are done online and involves all sector of the economy, we can leverage on it to equip workers and youths,” Samuel said.
He said boosting literacy levels through internet and provision of ICT hubs as well as necessary political will would raise productivity, boost literacy, lower unemployment and increase sectoral contributions to the Gross Domestic Product.
NAN/ Ime N