In Qatar, Tinubu Says Nation-building Requires Perseverance, Patriotism to Succeed

Insists Nigeria will survive with human capital devt

Dangote advocates nation’s transition to knowledge-based economy

Nigeria, Qatar to sign eight bilateral agreements today

Deji Elumoye in Abuja and Ahmad Sorondinki in Kano

President Bola Tinubu yesterday in Doha, Qatar, stated that nation-building requires perseverance and patriotism to succeed.

The president has also said his administration will continue to support education because of his strong belief that Nigeria’s survival can only be assured by the quality of human capital development.

This is coming as Africa’s richest man and President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has said Nigeria’s transition from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy is crucial to the nation’s quest to join the league of developed nations, just as Qatar and Nigeria will today sign eight bilateral agreements.

Speaking with journalists shortly after inspecting the National Museum of Qatar, in Doha, Tinubu noted that since the beginning of nations, nationalism and patriotism had remained major ingredients for tackling various challenges along the way, adding that “you learn as you go on”.

President Tinubu who was kickstarting his two-day state visit to Qatar with the visit to the Museum, was conducted round the edifice, which is located in the heart of Doha and built on a land of about 430,500 square feet.

Speaking on the significance of the museum, the President stated that “it is great to document culture from the beginning of history, the culture of civilisation, collaborations, challenges and perseverance of leadership.”

On replicating the same in Nigeria, he said: “We still have a long way to go.”

He, however, expressed happiness for the opportunity to take a guided tour of the edifice, adding that, “I am glad I am here. It is a great honour; you learn every day of your life.”

The president was conducted round the edifice by the CEO of Qatar Museums, Mohammed saad Al Rumaihi.

From the museum, Tinubu also visited the Qatar Foundation, responsible for promoting Qatar government humanitarian activities in other countries, including Nigeria.

The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development, is a state-led non-profit organisation, dedicated to helping humanity in the areas of science, research, and documentation.

The institution, which was founded in 1995 by the then Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and his second wife, Moza bint Nasser Al-Missne, has been linked to the development of schools, houses, and health facilities in several countries, including Nigeria.

Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, while speaking on the importance of the foundation to Nigeria, attested to the humanitarian activities of the foundation in the northern part of Nigeria.

He disclosed that the Qatar Foundation is currently building orphanages, houses, and schools in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, and other places in the northern part of Nigeria.

“Their main objective is to assist displaced and downtrodden communities in Nigeria.

“We want to give our appreciation to the Qatar Charity Foundation.

“We believe that with the presence of the President of Nigeria, President Bola Tinubu, this organisation will provide more support to the government of Nigeria both at the national and sub-national levels.

“The main objectives of the foundation are geared towards enhancing education, Science, and research in community development,” Zulum added.

He also expressed the hope that Nigerian entrepreneurs, especially in the areas of agriculture and animal husbandry, would continue to benefit from the relationship between Nigeria and Qatar.

Zulum, while noting that Qatar has perfected the development of agriculture, particularly livestock farming, also expressed the hope that Nigeria would leverage the relationship to solve the farmers/herders clash.

“What we need from them particularly, is in the areas of research in community development, because they export meat and other food items.

“We are speaking about cattle grazing and farmers/ herders’ clashes and I think the Qatari Foundation will come in through research because in northern Nigeria, we share climatic conditions with Qatar. I hope that they will do the research in such a way that the two countries will mutually benefit from.”

Meanwhile, President Tinubu will today engage the business community and join his host at the Palace of the Emir of Qatar, for the signing of eight bilateral agreements.

Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Yusuf Tuggar, who disclosed this yesterday in Doha, added that Nigeria would expect a strong partnership between the two countries, as Qatar which is the third largest gas producer, seeks to open up investment opportunities for the Nigerian business community.

“It will interest you to know that Qatar investors are in several countries in Africa, but not in Nigeria. Nigeria and Qatar jointly have stakes in the future of gas, as the debate is on as to the future of gas in the energy transition plans,” Tuggar explained.

Speaking on the benefits of the visit for local MSMEs in Nigeria, Tuggar said the visit would provide opportunities for the business community to further engage with their Qatar partners to explore mutually beneficial relationships.

Also speaking, Minister of Youth Development Jamila Ibrahim, expressed high hopes for the Nigerian youths as the ministry was able to mobilise youths to Qatar on the President’s instructions to engage with their business community for mutual benefits.

On his part, Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State who is in the President’s entourage expressed deep appreciation to their host for providing the opportunities to engage with the Qatar investors and look forward to a rewarding experience.

Sani noted that Nigeria’s solid minerals development plans will also get a boost as a result of the engagements, especially by the sub-national governments.

Tinubu Insists Nigeria will Survive with Human Capital Development

Meanwhile, President Tinubu has said his administration will continue to support education because of his strong belief that Nigeria’s survival can only be assured by the quality of human capital development.

President Tinubu disclosed this yesterday at the 38th convocation ceremony of the Bayero University Kano (BUK), in Kano State.

The president who was represented by the Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Muhammad, explained that the present administration accorded top priority to education and human capital development.

“This administration will continue to support education because of our strong belief that our survival can only be assured by the quality of our human capital development. This is why we made education the top priority of our administration.

“We are supporting all aspects of education; this administration will focus on skills, technology, and vocational education as core drivers of the educational system that will prepare graduants for employment and employer of labour.

“For this purpose, the federal government is building 24 skills and vocational hubs in polytechnics as well as entrepreneurship centres in our universities. We are also reviving 970 Shanghai centres for integrated learning and development of Almajiri in the country. “We are also building 91 vocational schools in secondary schools across the country to ensure that all levels of education are enjoying the impact of our policy.

He said the federal government had taken steps to provide power to universities with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) through the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Petroleum (Gas).

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor of BUK, Prof. Adamu Sagir Abbas, appealed to the federal government to fence the new campus of the university, as the university community has been facing enormous security challenges, owing to the porous nature of the entrance and exit points.

The Deputy Senate President, Senator Barau Jubrin, and the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina were conferred with honorary Doctorate degrees, during the convocation ceremony.

Dangote Advocates Nation’s Transition to Knowledge-based Economy

In a related development, Africa’s richest man, Dangote, has said the development of a knowledge-based economy is crucial to Nigeria’s quest to join the league of developed nations.

Dangote spoke at the weekend as a guest lecturer at the 38th convocation lecture of BUK.

The business mogul, who was represented by the Group Executive Director of Dangote Group, Mansur Ahmed, delivered a lecture entitled: ‘Role of The Private Sector in Building a Sustainable Knowledge Economy in Nigeria.’

He noted that for Nigeria to leverage and nurture a sustainable knowledge economy, the federal government must invest in education and skills development.

Dangote listed other factors that can grow the knowledge economy in Nigeria including the promotion of research and development; digital infrastructure development; entrepreneurship and innovation support; circular economy integration; and government policies’ regulation.

Others include Public-private partnership (PPP); environmental stewardship; digital inclusion and accessibility; community engagement and social impact.

The billionaire said the nation needs a conducive business environment that provides incentives for the efficient use of existing knowledge.

“Given the tremendous benefits that the knowledge economy offers, it is vital that Nigeria makes the transition from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy,” Dangote said.

He added: “Countries like South Korea, India, China, and the Asian tigers at one time or the other took the decision to institutionalise a knowledge economy and are today reaping the benefits.

“There are many government research institutions and the existing knowledge gathered over the years can be put into use by firms. Agricultural research institutes have produced new varieties of seeds, legumes, and others that are being cultivated in small quantities in their demonstration farms.

 “This is where the government should come in with incentives for firms that would make use of these new varieties.”

Dangote said the government, through its agencies, could help in insisting that firms and businesses apply existing knowledge in their operations.

 Dangote, however, noted that: “A major challenge in transiting to knowledge economy for Nigeria is the quality of the Nigerian worker,” stressing that: “The quality of human assets matters a lot in the operations of a firm.”

According to him: “Our educational system, which produces most of the human assets working in various firms in Nigeria needs to be modified to yield the desired results.

“The system as presently constituted produces graduates who may have excellent qualifications but lack the necessary skills to perform optimally in a knowledge-driven economy.

“We have thousands of graduates every year but selecting those with the required skills is often a tough task,” he added.

Related Articles