Vice president Yemi Osinbajo has urged state governments in Nigeria to focus on knowledge economy as the future of survival.
In his keynote address at the Ekiti State Investment and Economic Development Summit and the third anniversary celebration of the government of the State on Thursday, Osinbajo said every state in Nigeria must ” increased investments in local talents, more focus on the knowledge economy, and greater attention to niche areas of comparative advantage.”
Speaking on the theme of the Summit: “Investment Attractiveness and Economic Development: Lessons for Sub-nationals”, the Vice President noted that “the future of fast-growing economies is in the knowledge economy,” while also referencing Ekiti State’s potential in agriculture and dairy production, and technology.
Commending the farsightedness of the Ekiti State Governor with the planned establishment of the Technology Special Economic Zones, the VP advised that “for a digital SEZ to be successful, it must be attractive to digital companies; that means there must be high-quality, well-trained local talent.”
“I’m glad to hear already that on account of the reduction in charges for laying of cables for broadband connectivity, the State is already attracting investments in the laying of cables,” he said.
The Vice President then added that despite Ekiti State being small in terms of population and federal allocation, the State has a bigger economy and GDP than countries like São Tomé, Gambia, Cape Verde, and Seychelles.
According to him, a collective change of mindset for States is vital towards leveraging comparative advantages and achieving more economic growth.
Osinbajo noted that although a State within a Federation is not a nation, it must behave like one, to further boost its economic development.
“The economy of the sub-national is a peculiar animal. The State within the Federation is not a nation, but it must behave like one, it derives some resources from the Federal pool, and generates some income, the overall sum will provide infrastructure and services to the community. The size of the sum and the quantum of opportunity available to provide livelihoods for the populace will depend on how the State enables local and external investors, small and large to put their resources into business and commercial activity business in the State, the VP observed.