Bill Gates invests $1.6 billion in Nigeria's future

Posted at 10:29 AM, Mar 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-26 10:29:47-04

(CNN) - Boko Haram is again staging attacks, the president's wife is tweeting her disproval of her own husband, and Nigerians are once again disillusioned by their political elite.

Meanwhile, Bill Gates sent a clear message to any potential candidates during his recent visit in Lagos.

Gates said he believes they need to stop doing business as usual and start investing more in people.

"I am saying that the current plan is inadequate,” said Gates.

Gates is quietly spending more than 1.6 billion dollars of his fortune to eradicate the scourge of polio in Nigeria.

Africa's biggest economy is heading into its 2019 elections with the continent's largest youth population with nearly 8 million of them unemployed.

"Nigeria has all these young people and the current quality and quantity of investment, in this young generation, the health and education just isn't good enough. So, I was very direct,” said Gates.

Directed squarely at Nigerian politicians, the public rebuke is a rare departure for Gates and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but it comes at a critical time.

Citizens say the government is often absent, or present in the form of an official asking for a bribe

Nigeria is rated as one of the most corrupt countries on the globe.

The government acknowledges the problems and says it has welcomed Gates message. It says it's working to do better for the people.

By 2050 Nigeria will have a bigger population than in the United States.

"If it can get health and education right, they will be an engine of growth, not just for themselves, which will be those 400 million people, but all of Africa," said Gates.

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