US ambassador: Youth are Nigeria’s most valuable resource — not oil

William Symington, US ambassador to Nigeria, says youth are the nation’s most valuable resource, not crude oil.

The US ambassador made the remark on Sunday, while speaking to students of Adekunle Anglican Primary School, Makoko, a suburb in Lagos.

“If you have oil and you don’t have people, you have nothing. The most important resources of Nigeria are her youths. The reason the world cares about Nigeria is because of the youths of the country,” he said.

Encouraging the students to keep learning, Symington said they have the qualities to aspire for greatness and contribute to the development of the country.


“You are not just learning for yourself; you are learning for all of us. One of you will discover a cure for a disease. Another person will find a way to encourage farmers and herders to live in peace,” he said.

“One of you will take a picture and that picture would be worth more than a million words. Some of you will become great authors and you will take people to places where they have never been.”

During a visit to Nigeria in March, Bill Gates, co-founder Bill and Melinda Foundation, had said government needs to invest in its greatest resource– its human capital– to achieve “sustained prosperity.”


Nigeria was ranked 152 out of 157 countries in the World Bank’s first-ever Human Capital Index released in October.

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