Friday, 22nd September 2023

Why Nigeria’s human capital development drive must be sustained—Osinbajo

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, says Nigeria must accord attention to Human Capital Development (HCD) to drive the desired economic growth.

[FILES] Yemi Osinbajo

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, says Nigeria must accord attention to Human Capital Development (HCD) to drive the desired economic growth.

Osinbajo said this at the Peer Review Meeting of the HCD State Focal Persons held on Tuesday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the HCD Focal Persons Peer Review Meeting is a programme of the National Economic Council (NEC).

Osinbajo, who was represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr Ade Ipaye, emphasised that human capital development plays a critical role in addressing poverty and ensuring participatory and sustainable economic growth.

He highlighted the progress so far made in accelerating HCDs in Nigeria.

The vice president urged the focal persons not to relent in sensitising state governments to ensure the impacts of the programme were felt at the grassroots.

According to him, state governments have shown their commitments to the programme by prioritising HCD investments and facilitating national discussion on HCD challenges and the way forward.

Human capital development refers to the process of acquiring and increasing the number of persons who have the skills, education and experience that are critical for the economic growth and development of a country.

“We have since inception made tremendous strides in the implementation of the programme at the national and sub national levels.

“Notable achievements included the inauguration of the national HCD strategy, constitution of state HCD councils and technical working groups.

“Others are the development of national HCD communication strategy and the organisation of regional HCD conferences as well as strategic partnerships and alliances being forged across several stakeholders’ groups,’’ he said.

Osinbajo expressed optimism that the successes achieved so far would provide the needed confidence in implementing the third phase of the programme successfully.

“As we begin the third phase of the programme implementation, the objectives of this programme will be met and the 2030 HCD target achieved all across the three thematic areas (level of education, standard of living and health of humans).

“This phase is crucial to national success as it would be taking HCD to the grassroots where change is most needed and advocacy critical in where the programme is adopted,’’ he said.

Osinbajo said that the third phase includes the inauguration of the community-based demonstration of the HCD programme in its simplest form.

He said that successes recorded could be replicated across various communities in each Local Government Area across the country.

“I must thank you the focal persons for this, I think without you driving it and reminding the governance importance of this programme we won’t be where we are today,’’ he said.

Also speaking, the Coordinator, Core Working Group, HCD in Nigeria, Ms. Yosola Akinbi, said that critical areas of the implementation and management of the programme must happen at the grassroots.

While noting that HCD was the software of any development, Akinbi said “we must build a country where the skills will be retained.”

Some of the focal persons during their state presentations, said that the core of the HCD drive was the empowerment of youths to have the capacity and skills needed in creating or seeking employment.

Mr Isaac Uduak said that the Akwa Ibom government took labour force participation seriously through its industrialisation policy that leveraged a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to revolutionise industries in Africa.

“The average Nigerian will agree that policy formulation has never been a problem, implementation is usually the challenge.

“The administration of Governor Emmanuel Udom understands this and has gone beyond mere policy implementation to ensuring the effective execution of its industrialisation policies in creating wealth for its people,’’ Uduak said.

Mrs Habiba Suleiman, Nasarawa Focal Person, said that the programme in the state was concentrating on youth development.

She said that Nasarawa state government through the HCD Office with OXFAM in Nigeria as funding partners had trained youths in courses such as Team Building, Work Ethics and Business Model Canvas.

“Others are Problem Solving, Presentation Skills, Telephone Etiquette, Customer Service among others,’’ she said.

Mr Amos Nuhu of Adamawa, said that the state under the programme built the capacity of 1, 000 health workers while improving the utilisation of child health and nutrition.

“In addition we have 10 skills acquisition centres and we are providing technical knowledge to improve efficiency for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in shoes and bags making.

“More so, the state has its priorities in education through training and retraining of teachers as well as operating free education at the basic level,’’ Nuhu said.