As opinions, claims and counter-claims swing left, right and centre on whether the Founder of Microsoft, Bill Gate, actually chided President Muhammadu Buhari’s Economic team over the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery And Growth Plan (ERGP), TechEconomy.ng, however, observed eight points not actually discussed in public domain.
It is a pity that Social Media Economists (SMEs) have failed to appreciate that the Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, actually doffed his hat for Nigerians, saying “I’m blown away by how much Nigeria has changed…in the technology sector”.
Addressing stakeholders at the special session of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Gates stressed the need for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to take a second look at the National Economic Plan in terms of its priorities for human capacity development.
There is no doubt about that, however, it is instructive to underscore that why he keeps visiting Nigeria- technology, healthcare- humanity.
So, aside the news making rounds, what are the contents in Bill Gates speech that should be look at very closely?
Please, read this: “At some point during every visit, though, some brave person eventually asks me—very politely—“Why are you actually here?” It’s an understandable question.
- “Most American technology guys don’t wander around Nigeria learning about its health system. But I think I have a good answer.
- “When we started Microsoft 40 years ago, we wanted to build a successful business, but we also wanted to make people’s lives better. We believed computers could revolutionize the way people lived and worked. But back then only big companies could afford them. We wanted to give everybody access.
- “As I got older, traveled more, and learned more about the world, I realized that billions of people had a problem that computers couldn’t solve. They lacked the basics of a good life: food, shelter, health, education, and opportunity.
- “And so I started my second career with my wife Melinda. With the money I’d been lucky enough to earn at Microsoft, we started working toward a different goal: a healthy and productive life for everyone.
He that for this reason he came to Nigeria “and that’s why Melinda and I will continue coming for as long as we are able”.
- “Our foundation’s biggest office in Africa is here. We have committed over $1.6 billion in Nigeria so far, and we plan to increase our commitment”.
As against the view that Bill Gates eschews connecting with institutions in Nigeria, he said “We have strong relationships with the federal government, state governments, businesses, NGOs, and civil society organizations”.
- “We are eager to support you as you work to make Nigeria a global economic powerhouse that provides opportunity for all its citizens—as you strive fulfill this country’s immense promise.
- “I’m blown away by how much Nigeria has changed in the past decade. Consider the technology sector. That energy I talked about during the early days of Microsoft, our passion and our eagerness to take risks….
- “That’s the same energy that powers technology hubs across Nigeria like Co-Creation and Enspire.
“The novelist Chimamanda Adichie, who my wife especially admires, captured the country’s spirit when she said her fellow Nigerians have ‘big dreams and big ambitions.’”
“This line graph of Nigeria’s per capita GDP shows where those dreams and ambitions can lead. With the exception of the recent recession, the slope goes straight up. As a result of this growth, Nigeria is now the biggest economy on the continent. You are rapidly approaching upper middle-income status, like Brazil, China, and Mexico.
“But growth is not inevitable. Nigeria has unmatched economic potential, but what becomes of that potential depends on the choices you make as Nigeria’s leaders.
“The most important choice you can make is to maximize your greatest resource, the Nigerian people. Nigeria will thrive when every Nigerian is able to thrive”.