• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Governments urged to increase investment in human capital development

Governments urged to increase investment in human capital development

Participants at the The Bullion Lecture 2024 have called on governments at all levels in the country to increase investment in human capital development in order to achieve fast-paced prosperity for the country.

The over 250 participants from the academia, banking and finance, ICT, maritime, media, public sector, diplomatic circle, etc. who converged on Lagos on April 18, 2024, for the annual lecture organised by Centre for Financial Journalism, observed that Nigeria is not doing well with regard to human capital development because it is not making adequate investment in the education of its citizens, which is a major avenue for developing human capital.

Read also: How Nigeria can leverage human capital development to halt poverty trend

They pointed to relevant data which suggest that Nigeria is operating at the bottom of the ladder in many aspects of human capital development. The participants noted that while Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and natural resources, the gross inability of the various governments in the country over the years to develop and equip the human capital on a sustainable basis has resulted in increase in poverty, diseases and squalor across the country.

The participants are worried about the increasing phenomenon of migration of the country’s vibrant youth population to overseas countries, including a large number of already accomplished professionals, in search of greener pastures because of the hostile environment of the country characterised by poverty, high unemployment rate, insecurity, lack of infrastructure that inhibit the actualisation of their dreams.

The participants agree that human capital development and its sustainability are the key solutions to solving many economic problems confronting the country today.

They therefore, believe that for the country to move forward, human capital development must be made the top strategic priority by governments at all levels, since human capital is the most valuable asset the nation has, over and above natural resources.

The participants recommend that the existing National Education Policy should be reviewed to align it with modern reality and requirements – after noting that the current National Education Policy is outdated and too rigid, and, therefore, inadequate to produce the needed skilled manpower requirement for a modern economy.

They advocate that National Education Policy should aim, among others, at developing a total human being through the acquisition of theoretical knowledge and practical training to shape the mental, physical and social intelligence quotient and transform these into emotional quotient.

While noting that investment in education goes beyond construction of physical buildings and other infrastructure, participants recommend very strongly the review of the educational curriculum at all levels with the aim of updating it to modern requirements.

Read also: Sahara Power, Pan-Atlantic University partner to boost human capital in power sector

The participants urge the Federal Government to increase funding of education from the present inadequate budgetary allocation of around 6.0percent to 15percent in accordance with UNESCO recommendation, and ensure that allocations are released and put to judicious use, as such increase would enable the nation to provide world-class education that equips students with the knowledge and critical thinking needed to succeed in the 21st century.

While commending the Federal Government for signing into law the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Repeal and Re-Enactment Bill 2024, the participants urge the Federal Government to increase the allocation to the scheme from the current paltry sum of N6 billion to N200 billion to accommodate the large number of undergraduates across the nation’s higher institutions of learning.

The participants recommend very strongly investment in constant training of teachers to enable them carry out their crucial role of teaching the young ones.