Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Charles Soludo, on Tuesday, urged Nigeria to invest more in technological innovations for the country to compete favourably in a 21st century without oil.
Soludo said this in his paper entitled “The Economic Restructuring of Nigeria: Nigeria of the Future,” at The Platform, an annual forum organized by Christian Covenant Centre, Iganmu, Lagos.
The renowned economist said that technological innovation would bring about the needed development that would usher in the Nigeria of the future.
“By 2050, there will probably be 400 million Nigerians; all these people will need water, education, hospitals and jobs.
“In 20 years’ time, the oil will be history, so we need to prepare to welcome the 400 million Nigerians in 20 years’ time by putting in place the kind of institutional arrangement to make the future to be sustainable.
“The world will need new systems to meet these new needs, so, we have to either innovate, compete or die,” Soludo said.
According to him, the economic restructuring of the future is about positioning Nigeria to compete and win in an increasingly complex world thereby guaranteeing the security and prosperity of the 400 million Nigerians in a world without oil.
Soludo, who is a member of the Economic Advisory Council newly established by President Muhammadu Buhari, said an educational system with the 21 century curricular and powered by technology was needed to achieve the objective.
“The challenge is how to deliberately optimize the potential of the huge youth population to be highly productive at home and competitively exportable abroad.
“And we cannot export illiterates in a world driven by digital technology.
“So, the easiest way to waste the future is to churn out millions of semi-illiterates, largely unemployable citizens most of whom seek criminality as the only way to escape poverty trap,” Soludo said.