Nigeria should be competing favourably with other nations of the world with her rich collection of human capital and natural resources, Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, Lagos Chapter, Mr. Hassan Elias, has said.
Elias, who was represented by Mr. Gbenga Alara, at the 10th Annual Adekunle Kukoyi Memorial Lecture held in Lagos last week, said there were no alternatives to human capital as a means to development.
“We started the same time as Malaysia but why are we not there yet? With the collection of resources, knowledge, skills, talents, abilities, experience, intelligence, training, judgement and wisdom possessed individually and collectively by people in our population, I am convinced that we can accomplish the goal of being a great nation and people,” he said.
The guest lecturer, Mrs. Paulina Adebusoye, who spoke on: ‘Improving human capital in a competitive world’, said in recent years, the country had experienced sustained economic growth as exemplified by the per capita income and the rebased Gross Domestic Product.
“This recent growth has to be sustained by an ever rising level of productivity if the country is to reduce the present levels of poverty and ensure high levels of prosperity for its citizens in future years,” she said.
Adebusoye added that to achieve sustained growth and development, there was a need to focus on education at all levels.
According to her, the other pillars that can make the country competitive are infrastructure, health and primary education, institutions, good market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation.
Noting the importance of education and health in driving economic growth, Adebusoye said the ability to be successful globally was the key driver for sustaining a nation’s prosperity.
She said, “The bottom line is that business, government, civil society and ordinary citizens will do well to keep in mind that it is not primarily the number of people that is important but what they are capable of, their level of education, and their health, because on these depend the wealth of the nation.
“While a large population is good for creating a large market of consumers, the fact that over half of the population are dependents requiring large resources to provide education and health services and employment is a source for concern.”
The chairman of the occasion and a retired justice of the Supreme Court, George Oguntade, extolled the virtues of the late Kukoyi, who was one of the foundation members of the institution.
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