Mr. Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, on Thursday urged the Federal Government to invest more in health and education.
He said the country would do better with strong investment in health and education, rather than concentrating on physical infrastructure, to the detriments of human capital development.
Bill Gates stated this at a special session of the National Economic Council held at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
At the occasion also includes the Chairman of the Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote,
The theme of the event was “Role of human capital investment in supporting pro-poor and economic growth agenda.”
The council chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has all the 36 state governors, relevant ministers and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria as members.
Gates said available statistics showed that the country “still looks like a low-income country.”
He also described Nigeria as “one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth.”
He claimed that one in three Nigerian children are chronically malnourished.
Nigeria, he added, has the fourth worst maternal mortality rate in the world, only ahead of Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, and Chad.
“In upper middle- income countries, the average life expectancy is 75 years. In lower middle – income countries, it’s 68, in low- income countries, it’s 62. In Nigeria, it is lower still, just 53 years,”he said.