Firm tasks FG on improved human capital dev’t index

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By Ijeoma Olorunfemi

A consultancy firm, Sydani Group, has called on the Federal Government to improve on the educational access, healthcare and other initiatives, to boost the nation’s Human Capital Development (HCD) index.

The Director of Sydani Fellowship Programme, Mr Sunday Atobatele, made the call on Monday at a roundtable in Abuja.

The roundtable focuses on driving sustainability through a comprehensive analysis of Nigeria’s key development areas.

Atobatele said that HCD had a co-relation with a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He recalled the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund reports revealed that over 50 per cent of the country’s population was aged between 18 and 35.

“This demographic segment holds immense potential for HCD, but they are limited by poor educational access, high unemployment rate, inadequate healthcare services that continued to widen social and economic inequalities.’’

Atobatele explained that HCD was needed to drive economic growth, reduce poverty, promoting social equity and fostering sustainable development.

“During post-COVID era, a lot of young Nigerians expected to be productive and boost our HCD index, took to the alternative of migrating to more productive economies.

“There is a strong correlation with HCD and GDP, because when you have a productive population, you can put out the market value of products manufactured in the country.

“We need to improve our HCD index by empowering people with skills that can help them self-sustain, improve access to education, healthcare and other social development initiatives,’’ Atobatele said.

He said that the HCD index was measured by the survival of a child before five years, access to quality education and healthcare, among other components.

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According to him, HCD requires universal primary education, quality teacher training, digital literacy programmes, universal health coverage, disease prevention and control, maternal and child health, infrastructure development, among others.

“Empowerment helps individuals to contribute effectively to their communities and economies. It also enhances workforce productivity, stimulates innovation and strengthens resilience to socio-economic challenges.’’

The director said that the firm partnered with the academia to improve the quality of the graduates from schools, adding that there were gaps between courses in school and the workforce environment.

He said that through its Sydani Fellowship Programme, the firm was building the capacity of students, providing them with opportunities for the period of five months and ensured their paid as well.

He said other avenues the firm designed to reach out to young people included the Sydani Research Institute, to train about 500,000 in 10 years with prerequisite skills.

“The training will focus on developing skills the beneficiaries can leverage on to apply for employments, to be self-sustained and come up with innovative solutions to help themselves.

“We need youths, vibrant people of productive age with prerequisite knowledge, skills, to prove their productivity that will translate to economic sustainability,’’ he said.

Earlier, Mr Sidney Sampson, Global Managing Partner of Sydani Group, said the group was dedicated to catalysing positive change, fostering development to underserved communities.

Sampson said the group’s focus areas which geared towards building the global and Nigerian economy also included advancing technology, healthcare, HCD, agriculture and climate change and education.

“We are here to analyse the critical questions within the Nigerian development, and the things we do revolve around development of a person.

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“Nigerians need education, food, healthcare, human capital development, to be exposed to be able to drive economic activities and development,’’ he said.

According to him, Sydani group is collaborating with different agencies, institutions to develop and implement impactful solutions.

Sampson described the roundtable as imperative as media played a vital role in shaping and fostering accountability, delivering message in a right way. (NAN)( media

Edited by Deji Abdulwahab

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