Human investment: An investment to any nation
Sir: Notably, Nigeria is faced with diverse issues that have the tendency to deprive the nation of enviable and visible development. These issues ranging from corruption, inefficiency in institutions, unemployment, lack of patriotism of political office holders and the likes are believed to have been stemmed from bad leadership in the country. David Vital (1967) in his book, The Inequality of State posited that a great nation is known for its large strength of population (Human Capital) and mineral resources.
Despite, this being a perfect definition of the Nigerian state, the nation has recorded just little political and economic achievement in the international level since 2007. Unfortunately, this very little achievement is being celebrated ceremonially. Vital (1967) also stated that a truly great nation is known for their intellectual capacity and representation, which he further explained to be the ability of states to gather information, make predictions and also develop realistic institutions and innovations with the information at their disposal. While it is also visible that Nigeria has a vast population of enlightened and talented individuals, there has been little premium placed on how these intellectual properties could be harness by the Government for the general good of the society. Countries, which have made tremendous improvement politically, economically, socially and institutionally attribute their success to the realization and maximization of their human capital.
What has been observed to be the secret to the development of these countries (Singapore, Russia, China and the likes), which have had tremendous achievement over time is their rigorous investment in Human capital who in turn develop Capital Projects and innovations. These capital projects and innovations also serve as selling points for these nations, hence attracting international attention and promoting bilateral economic relationship.
No nation rises above her value for human capital and intellectual properties or grows beyond the collective efforts of capable and competent individuals to seeing that national goals are achieved. Ultimately, the progress, achievements and development of a given nation is tied to active individuals who have accepted the responsibility to work (collectively as a group or individually) in order to create and develop products, institutions, inventions and ideas aimed at solving strategic national issues.
The superiority of human capital over mineral/material resources of nations cannot be overemphasized as it has been proven severally that the human element have the potential to birth and build materials, innovations and institutions that has not yet being imagined and cannot be predicted hundreds of years to come. The management expert, Peter Drucker in his book “practice of Management” stated that what will serve as a remarkable achievement in the world will not be the development and invention of technology, building of infrastructures or erection of skyscrapers but in the changes of human condition and interactions.
Leadership fails when those in the seat of authority place more premium to material, mineral and financial assets than human capital. Handicapping human intellectual capacity by nations, organizations, institutions and groups only result to slow development. A leadership whose investment is people-centred rather than material-centred invests into its future because in every human element, there are tiny seeds of potentials of greatness and development.
In 2017, The United Nation Department of Economic and Social Affairs predicted that by 2050, Nigeria will be the third most populous country in the world with over 300million citizens. The irony of this prediction is that by 2050, if the Nigerian state and leadership still prioritize material resources above human resources the present situation of the country would worsen and generations to come will be affected.
While the mineral and material resources of any nation contributes to the growth of such nation (as posited by Vital, 1967), the human resources who responsible for transforming these resources into tangible, useful and instrumental materials cannot be sidelined. It is pertinent to note that what makes a nation is not its institutions, infrastructures or mineral resources but Human Resources. Also, what determines the future of any nation is the activeness or in-activeness of her people. When a nation develops her people and also promote their ideas and inventions, such nation will ultimately soar.
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