The Commissioner for Finance Lagos State, Dr. Mustapha Abiodun Akinkunmi, has stressed the importance of increased investments in new mobile technologies, health care and education in order to achieve its economic drive.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the class of 2016, American University, Adamawa recently, Akinkunmi also urged the government to equally invest in exporting creativity, music, movies and the written word, including trade and industry rather than relying on oil.
According to Akinkunmi, reliable power, security and a strong health system are essential for rapid growth, adding that human capital is the hope for the future of the Nigeria and Africa region.
He further disclosed that Nigeria can leapfrog from manufacturing to servicing, “simply because the output from manufacturing has increased and human resources for manufacturing have decrease due to automation.”
He added: “Because I want you to see yourselves as the global future leaders, not just leaders of this country. Innovation and science have a key role to play in answering many of our biggest multilateral challenges. I must emphasise that technology does not just mean information and communication technology – it is medical, agricultural technology.”
According to him, innovations consistently emerge from academic institutions, and research faculties housed within academic institutions, adding as example, that the presence of Stanford is causal not consequential to the emergence of Silicon Valley in the United States.
The vision for the north-eastern part of the country, according to Akinkunmi, should be to make it the Silicon Valley of Nigeria.
The Lagos finance commissioner further stated that the ambition is to “leverage off our human capital potential, and export ideas not just across borders – but across continents. We must participate in the global marketplace.
“Many areas of experimental research, such as the development of new or improved products in the agricultural industry or renewable energy technology, or new sustainable processes in the extraction of natural resources, have global benefits.”