Thursday, 16 March 2017

A leap to the future; 'We need a smart state not a big government'

In Nigeria the options of 'leaping to modernity through industrialisation' is limited despite being an oil economy . Photo: Uche Okeke

There is lack of political will by the elected officials to support or subsidise research and innovation. They simple rely on the monthly allocation from the centre to settle pockets of unproductive civil service, buy rice and food ingridients for the people and tell the pensioners to get support from their children. The unanswered question remains why do they want to be in government? .

The legislators are almost the highest paid in the world, yet unaccountable to their constituents. Till date the government funds pilgrimage, funds traditional and religious leaders, invest stupidly in unproductive activities including the funding of the office of the wives of the governors,etc.

Industrialization is about 'inventors and technological breakthroughs'. 'Isolated economies' struggle to industrialise because of the lack of political will to invest in the future: people and technology.

According to Professor, Sir, Paul Collier; "Modern economies ascend out of poverty while isolated economies struggle to industrialise".

 There is urgent need for government investment into the future.

"We can move quickly, backing new industries to create high value jobs and generate new wealth- or we can be startled by the pace of change and watch other countries race ahead..., Today, our approach must be different: we need a smart state, not a big government.
Policy makers must create the conditions for innovation to thrive with investment and political
-Alan Mak  ['We need to nuture new tech for the Fourth Industrial Revolution; Evening Standard; Thursday, 16 March 2017]

Poor countries need increased public investment in infrastructure, electricity, internet, transport, investment in pioneering, subsidise research and innovation,etc, integrate into the global economy to lift their people out of poverty.

This requires urgent political and financial backing. According to Alan Mak; "If we don't act now, we will be left behind.

In the future, every sector of our economy will be a tech sector, so only by taking action now to back innovation, train our workforce and boost our digital infrastructure, can we reap the benefits of industrial revolution"

Just yesterday the federal government approved the establishment of the Nigeria industrial council to stimulate the activities of industries in the country. The council will engage the private sector to develop a viable policy for the nation's industrial sector.
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Uche Okeke
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