Microsoft co-founder and top philanthropist Bill Gates has spoken about possible steps to lift Nigerians out of poverty.
An estimated 82.9 million Nigerians live below the poverty line, which has earned Nigeria the unenviable label of the “poverty capital of the world.”
In an interview with The Cable, the billionaire businessman was asked what steps Nigeria can take to lift its citizens out of poverty, identified better primary health care, quality education, higher taxes, among others, as means to reduce poverty. poverty rate in Nigeria.
He said: “There are many aspects of poverty reduction. The most immediate is health; You know, if children survive, they can be educated and more productive, if you get rid of malnutrition, the physical and mental capacity of the country increases enormously.
It would still put primary health care at the top; then you have the quality of education, the quality of the infrastructure, things like stability and justice systems working well.
Mr. Gates continued: “Nigerians do not trust their tax money to be spent well, so it is important to build credibility so that tax collection can be much higher over time. Nigeria has the lowest national tax collection of any country in the world, making it very difficult to finance infrastructure and education.
You have to get over that feeling that if taxes were collected, will they really be right? One area where it can really be demonstrated very clearly is by having the health supplies there, having the health workers come forward, clarifying what those health goals are, then people will see lives saved very quickly.
Our deepest experience is in this area of health because it is only a critical area that is still lagging behind, particularly in the north, even behind countries that are substantially less wealthy ”.