Vice President Kashim Shettima has given his approval for the establishment of a multi-sectoral committee aimed at driving the Human Capital Development (HCD) programme of the Federal Government.
The committee, comprising representatives from federal and state governments, donors, and partners, will convene bi-weekly to review the progress of the HCD programme.
The announcement followed a meeting between the Vice President, World Bank’s Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, and key stakeholders like Aliko Dangote and Tony Elumelu at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The HCD programme is centred around three thematic areas: Health and Nutrition, Labour Force Participation and Education, addressing essential human capital development aspects such as under-five mortality rate, malnutrition, adult mortality, expected years of school, quality of learning, and labour force participation rate.
During the meeting, VP Shettima underscored the critical importance of investing in human capital development to create a globally competitive and adaptable workforce, aligning with the demands of the 21st century.
The committee aims to reinforce the commitment of the current administration to enhance Nigeria’s global performance in human capital development.
Shettima emphasized the interconnectedness of the nation’s future with human capital development, acknowledging the influential role of business leaders like Aliko Dangote and Tony Elumelu. He commended their impact on the population, recognizing that the quality of leadership plays a pivotal role in societal rise and fall.
The Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, highlighted the ongoing efforts of the Federal Government in prioritizing people within the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda.’ He emphasized the significance of investing in human resources and stressed the need for accountability and accuracy in implementing HCD programmes.
Aliko Dangote, Chairman of the Dangote Group, praised the foresight of VP Shettima in convening the meeting and expressed commitment to supporting the administration’s HCD programme.
He called for diligence in addressing challenges related to inaccurate data, considering it a crucial issue in advancing human capital development.
Similarly, Tony Elumelu, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, pledged support for the Federal Government’s initiatives in human capital development, applauding the laudable idea behind the programme.
World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, assured support for the HCD programme, particularly in providing technical assistance and strengthening databases.
Representatives from various partners, including the Nigerian Governors’ Forum Secretariat, British High Commission, United Nations Development Programme, UNICEF, and JICA, also conveyed their support for the government’s initiatives.
The meeting, held five years after the launch of the HCD programme in response to Nigeria’s poor performance in global human capital development indexes, signals a renewed commitment to address challenges and drive progress.
The multi-sectoral committee, with its bi-weekly review mechanism, is poised to play a crucial role in ensuring effective implementation and alignment with the National HCD Vision.
The HCD programme is guided by a Steering Committee chaired by VP Shettima, representing high-level stakeholders from government, the private sector, and development agencies.
Additionally, a Core Working Group has been established to collaborate with states, ensuring practical implementation at the local level.
The commitment of all stakeholders underscores the significance of prioritizing human capital development for Nigeria’s sustainable growth and prosperity.