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Human capital development critical to societal transformation, says Ezekwesili


Oby Ezekwesili

If Nigeria must witness social and economic transformation it so desired, those who govern the country’s education space must make conscientious effort to provide composite education that would transform ordinary people to human capital, says former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili.

This is because composite education guarantees increase in productivity and competitiveness, which in turn reflects positively on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).Delivering the keynote address at the Meadow Hall Foundation’s Education Convention, held yesterday at the City Hall, Lagos with the theme “Transforming our society through education,” Ezekwesili said existing facts through research shows that it takes education to make the citizens of a country, more productive and competitive.

She asserted that analysis from the global economic league table shows that countries with the highest human capital index take the lead, and not those with the largest oil reserves.


She therefore urged policy makers and stakeholders to begin to think of how to change ordinary citizens into productive, highly competitive individuals through knowledge, as that is the way to make the society progressively transformational.

She said: “Productivity and competitiveness will change the story of Nigeria for good, because it is through citizens who are competitive and productive that a country begins to structurally lift itself out of its lowly position. But research has shown that people don’t just become productive and competitive, they have to go through individual structural transformation, and education is what will make that happen.’’

Not just the bland word education, but the nature of the education, the content, quality, relevance, delivery and vision behind the education.“When you look at the economic league table globally, it is not the countries with the largest reserves of gas, oil, gold or copper that are at the top, we find that countries with the highest human capital index are the ones that tends to be at the top of economic league table. So human capital is more important for a country that wants to transform than natural capital.

On his part, the Special Adviser to Lagos State governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, advised governors across the federation to endeavour to identify the needs and challenges of their education system and tackle it thoroughly.


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Oby Ezekwesili
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