The Core Working Group (CWG) of the Human Capital Development project of the National Economic Council will, this week, in conjunction with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum 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.
This 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 geo-political zones on Tuesday and Thursday last week, respectively.
The coordinator disclosed that this has become imperative because of the rating of the country on the HCD indicators when compared to other countries. “The Nigerian Government”, according to Yosola Akinbi, “recognizes the critical role that HCD plays in driving sustained economic growth, boosting productivity and reducing poverty.”
This according to Akinbi strongly supports the need to invest in people through healthcare, education and the labour force, which led to the setting up of the Core Working Group with the view to accelerating human capital and development in Nigeria.
Since it was set up, the HCD drivers had emphasised three thematic areas and six outcome areas as the fulcrum of HCD growth in the country. They include healthcare and nutrition, education and the labour force.
These choices are deliberate. They would each respectively provide equitable access to decent healthcare to every Nigerian, a quality, inclusive and functional education system and empower the nation’s youth with the capacity and skills to create or seek employment anywhere.
The National Economic Council comprising of all the Governors and the VP established the Core Working Group to drive the actualization of the human capital dev agenda of the country. This group also draws inspiration from the support of Government, the Private sector and international donor organisations.
These include the Ministries of Health, Finance, Budget and National Planning, Education and Labour and Productivity and the SDGs and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the Aliko Dangote Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the DFID, UNDP, UNICEF on the part of the international donor organisations.
The Core Working Group in collaboration with State Focal Persons, Development Partners and Other Key Stakeholders have articulated a long-term vision for HCD in the Country.
In similar vein the states are expected to develop a vision that is tailor-made for their peculiar environments. However, 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% to 80% by 2030. The cumulative effect of this is to drop the number of out of school children by at least 70% 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% to 46% and the female labour force would have doubled from 21% to 41%.
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