Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has disclosed that Core Working Group (CWG) of the Human Capital Development project of the National Economic Council will engage with the North-Central and North-East geo-political zones of the country to ramp up the human capital development indicators of the country.
NGF’s Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo made the disclosure in a statement on Monday.
He said the indication was given when the coordinator of the CWG, Ms Yosola Akinbi, addressed the States’ Focal Persons of the program, in two different virtual conferences, involving the North-West and South-south geopolitical zones on Tuesday and Thursday last week, respectively.
Barkindo quoted Akinbi as saying that the engagement had become imperative because of the rating of the country on the HCD indicators when compared to other countries.
According to her, ‘the Nigerian Government recognizes the critical role that HCD plays in driving sustained economic growth, boosting productivity and reducing poverty.’
According to her, the need to invest in people through healthcare, education and the labour force, led to the setting up of the Core Working Group with the view to accelerating human capital and development in Nigeria.
The HCD drivers had emphasised three thematic areas and six outcome areas as the fulcrum of HCD growth in the country since it was set up.
They include healthcare and nutrition, education and the labour force.
The National Economic Council (NEC) comprising of all the Governors and the Vice President established the Core Working Group to drive the actualization of the human capital development agenda of the country.
This group also draws inspiration from the support of Government, the Private sector and international donor organisations.
All the various aspirations would eventually align with the national vision of improving nutrition and reducing childhood stunting by half from 44% to 22% by 2030 reducing under 5 mortality by half and also reducing maternal mortality by half as well, all under the health and nutrition thematic objective.
Under education, the objective is to double school enrolment, double girl-child enrolment as well as double secondary school completion from 42 per cent to 80 per cent by 2030.
The cumulative effect of this is to drop the number of out of school children by at least 70 per cent while raising the number of those who obtain good grades in reading and mathematics substantially.
The last thematic outcome is expectedly the result of the first two. By this, the CWG envisions that the rate of youth employment would have risen from 23 per cent to 46 per cent and the female labour force would have doubled from 21 per cent to 41 per cent.
Once vigorously pursued and meticulously calibrated between the federal and subnational governments and down to the local government structures, it is expected that the nation would have produced 24 million healthy educated and employable people by 2030.
The target of the year 2030, the coordinator of the CWG explained, is deliberate because it corresponds with the year in which all global development aspirations would terminate and Nigeria wouldn’t be an exception.
It is with this ambition that the Core Working Group has developed State Level Engagement Strategies to ensure ownership and the buy-in of all States of the Federation in the HCD agenda.
The statement said that the State Governors had fully bought into the HCD agenda and had thrown their weight behind the transformation of the human capital capacity of all Nigerians from an unemployable citizenry to a healthy and competitive one.