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N Power: FG to employ 300,000 teaching, health care assistants in 2018 - Osinbajo

A special session of the National Economic Council was held today, Thursday, March 22 at the Old Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja.

At the event, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who chaired the session, outlined the policies of the federal government towards addressing the challenges of education and healthcare in the country.

He made mention of the Social Investment Programmes of the present administration like N-Power, which he said “has made tremendous impact on the overall health and education of the beneficiaries.”

He also revealed that 200,000 young teaching and health assistants were employed in 201, promising that 300,000 will be employed this year.

The Vice President hailed the tenacity of the average Nigerian youth, assuring the audience that the federal government is “leveraging on the activity of the young people to reach some of its targets.

“Going forward, we literally have to unleash the creativity of our young people. We are determined to make the kind of progress that will rewrite Nigeria's story.”

He further promised that the federal government will create policies that will enable private sector to thrive in the country.

“We acknowledge that the education and health budget are no where near what is expected, but we will do everything to address this,” he added.

Earlier in his address, Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation urged the federal government to invest more in health and education.

The billionaire philanthropist said the country would do better in these areas rather than concentrating on investments in physical infrastructure.

“The most important choice you can make is to maximize your greatest resource, the Nigerian people. Nigeria will thrive when every Nigerian is able to thrive.

“If you invest in their health, education, and opportunities - the human capital we are talking about today - then they will lay the foundation for sustained prosperity.

“If you don't however, then it is important to recognise that there will be sharp limit on how much the country can grow

I believe in the grand vision of Nigeria's future. I believe in it because I've seen it. It's represented by this line- the line that depends on healthy, educated people and the surge of economic activity they will unleash,” Gates said.

Gates is visiting Nigeria to see first-hand the progress the country is making on primary healthcare provision, polio eradication, nutrition and financial inclusion.

He will be asking partners to prioritise supporting Nigeria’s poorest people to ensure a sustainable and inclusive economic future, and allow the county to meet its ambitious growth and development agenda.

Gates and Aliko Dangote on Wednesday, March 21, signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with six northern state governors on improved access to immunisation in Nigeria.

The governors are Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto; Kashim Shettima, Borno; Abdullahi Ganduje, Kano; Muhammed Abubakar, Bauchi, and Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, while Yobe Gov. Ibrahim Geidam was represented by Dr Bello Kawu at the signing ceremony in Sokoto.

The minister of health, Professor Isaac Adewole, witnessed the ceremony after community engagement in round-table and the Northern Traditional Rulers Council (NTRC).

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