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You are here:Home>>Strategic Research & Analysis>>Zakaria urges Nigerian leaders to invest in the future
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 00:02

Zakaria urges Nigerian leaders to invest in the future

Written by World Stage News
Managing Director&CEO, Airtel Nigeria, Rajan Swaroop, acclaimed author and CNN Anchor, Fareed Zakaria and former President Obasanjo at the Night of Influence, organized by Airtel in Lagos… Managing Director&CEO, Airtel Nigeria, Rajan Swaroop, acclaimed author and CNN Anchor, Fareed Zakaria and former President Obasanjo at the Night of Influence, organized by Airtel in Lagos… worldstage

Zakaria urges Nigerian leaders to invest in the future at Airtel Night of Influence

 

Renowned journalist, internationally acclaimed author and host of popular, Fareed Zakaria’s GPS on CNN, Dr. Fareed Zakaria at the 2012 Airtel Night of Influence exhorted Nigerian leaders to take charge of the country’s future by investing heavily in the education sector in order to provide quality foundation  for Nigerian children.

 

Zakaria who spoke yesterday under the theme, Africa’s Political Economy: The Challenge of Leadership at the Airtel Night of Influence, a high profile gathering of Nigeria’s best and brightest, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, observed that a focused investment in human capital development and building strong institutions to safe-guard society from human failings are important requirements for lifting developing nations out of the lowest levels of economic growth.

 

The cerebral TV anchorman also advised that rather than “subsidizing the present or buying votes, leaders should invest in education, invest in Infrastructure, invest in healthcare and invest in the future.”

 

Citing Taiwan and South Korea, he further observed that although these countries do not have natural resources, they have emerged strong economies with impressive GDP growth rates because of their efforts in developing human capital and building strong institutions.

 

He also noted that the United States of America currently exports human capital in Liquefied Natural Gas and other areas because the country had invested in research, training and development in those areas.

 

Said he: “There is so much human talent in Africa and in Nigeria. These talents need to be unlocked through education. It is an irony that countries experiencing high GDP growth are countries without natural resources. Look at Taiwan. What they have is typhoon… they do not have any natural resources; yet, they have managed to emerge as one of the countries with the highest GDP growth rate.”

 

(L-R)Chairman Airtel Nigeria, Dr. Oba Otudeko, Managing Director&CEO, Airtel Nigeria, Rajan Swaroop, acclaimed author and CNN Anchor, Fareed Zakaria and former President Obasanjo at the Night of Influence, organized by Airtel in Lagos… Photo: Worldstage

In his remarks former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Olusegun Obasanjo commended Dr. Zakaria for his courage and insightful presentation and affirmed his belief in a bright future for Nigeria.

 

“I must say I am an incurable optimist and I can see that the future of our country is bright. And if we do what we have to do, that future is near,” said former president Obasanjo

 

Speaking earlier, the Chairman, Airtel Networks Limited, Dr. Oba Otudeko, in his opening remarks, restated Airtel’s commitment to providing world class telecommunications services to Nigerians.

 

“Airtel Nigeria means business and is challenging strongly for leadership in the industry. And I dare say we are demonstrating our commitment by the major initiatives we are embarking on in network coverage expansion, capacity enhancement and quality improvement.

 

“We have a network that currently has capacity for double the subscriber base. With over $1.5 billion dollars invested over the past two years, it is only a matter of time before we assume our rightful place in the Nigerian telecoms industry. Don’t forget we were first to commence commercial operations on August 5, 2001!  I am proud to say that we do not only have some of the most highly motivated employees in the industry, we also have the largest and the biggest 3.75G network in Nigeria.”

 

The Airtel Night of Influence was held at the Eko Hotel & Suites. It attracted high profile guests including the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu; Former World Bank Vice President, Ms. Oby Ezekwesili; House of Representatives Member, Abike Dabiri-Erewa and Pat Utomi, among several guests.

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