Muhammadu Sanusi II, a former emir of Kano, has said Nigeria must adopt a knowledge-based economy in order to reduce the level of poverty in the country.
Sanusi said this at the Kaduna Investment Summit, tagged KadInvest 6.0, on Friday.
According to the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Kaduna and Nigeria, in general, must enhance the intellectual capacity of its people rather than just prioritising infrastructure.
He explained that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is down because Nigerians have not been able to acquire knowledge that would be used to grow the economy.
He said: “You have countries and their per capita GDP, you have resource countries and knowledge economies. On the horizontal axis, we have the knowledge intensity. As knowledge increases so does the GDP.
“Look at rich countries like Saudi Arabia, look at Kuwait, we consider these very rich countries and that’s where they are on capita GDP. Now compare Saudi Arabia to Singapore or to Finland or Switzerland or the US.
“We all think Saudi Arabia is richer than UAE but look at the per capita income. The UAE is further down on the knowledge index; they are at 58 whereas Saudi is at 44.
“As you increase the knowledge intensity of the economy, as you rely more on human capital, as you rely more on intellectual capacity, you reduce poverty and increase per capita income, that is what you need to do.
“If you look at these Almajiri kids as potential raw material that could be trained, teach them to code, put them into this global value chain and let them start earning income in dollars, you transform their lives.”
The former emir of Kano said some of the policies being put in place in Kaduna State must be sustained by successive administrations to ensure the developmental growth of the state.
“My prayer is that after you finish your term, whoever succeeds will build on what has been done because it is very easy for all the work that has been done in years to be destroyed in one day,” he said.