By Ken Chiwendu
Vice President, Kassim Shettima on Monday approved the constitution of a multi-sectoral committee in a bid to drive the goals of the Human Capital Development (HCD) programme of the federal government.
The multi-sectoral team made up of the federal and state governments as well as donors and partners is expected to convene every two weeks to review the progress of work in addressing the objectives of the HCD programme.
This was the outcome of the VP’s meeting with World Bank’s Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri; the Chairman of the Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr Tony Elumelu, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, among others at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
At the meeting, Sen. Shettima stressed the need for government and partners to invest in human capital development to create a workforce that is not just globally competitive but also adaptable to the modern demands of the 21st century.
He said, “This gathering marks our collective recommitment to redirecting the promise and potential of our human capital towards safeguarding the economy. It’s an honour to host you and I eagerly anticipate celebrating the success of the initiatives uniting us.
“Our presence today signifies a tacit understanding that our future is intricately linked to the development of our human capital. We have witnessed the growing shift towards knowledge and service-based economies and the advantages they offer, particularly to our youths,” VP Shettima stressed.
Acknowledging the significant impact, the two Nigerian wealthy businessmen, Dangote and Elumelu, have had on the population, the Vice President noted that every society rises and falls depending on the quality of its leadership.
Earlier, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Pate, noted the current efforts the federal government has made, putting the people at the centre of the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’, even as he underscored the importance of investing in human resources.
He noted that going forward, stakeholders involved in the Human Capital Development programme of the Tinubu administration will reinforce and harness existing data to ensure accountability and accuracy in the implementation of programmes and projects under the initiative.
Prof. Pate expressed optimism that the renewed efforts at fast-tracking human capital development across different levels and tiers of government would attract interest from all stakeholders, including international partners and donor organisations.
On his part, the Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, commended the foresight of Vice President Shettima in convening the meeting, noting that it underpins the commitment of the Tinubu administration to addressing challenges around human capital development.
While pledging his support for the administration’s HCD programme, Dangote called on stakeholders to work diligently towards tackling the challenge of inaccurate data, describing it as the biggest problem in the task of addressing human capital development.
In the same vein, the Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr Tony Elumelu, pledged his support for the federal government’s initiatives towards Nigeria’s Human Capital Development.
“We will support you; our commitment is guaranteed. This is a laudable idea,” Elumelu stated.
For his part, the World Bank Country Director, Nigeria, Mr Chaudhuri, pledged the bank’s support for the HCD programme of the federal government, especially in the areas of technical assistance and strengthening of databases.
Remarks were also made by representatives of other partners such as the Nigerian Governors’ Forum Secretariat, British High Commission, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNICEF and JICA, among others.
In March 2018, the National Economic Council (NEC) had at its Special Session launched a dedicated Human Capital Development programme, in response to Nigeria’s dismal performance in all global indexes of human capital development.