By Cross Udo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will today host an international forum to launch the Integrated Regional Human Capital Development Strategy aimed to improve the indices in West Africa.
The conference, scheduled for Abuja with Vice President Osinbajo as Chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC), will have in attendance leaders in the public and private sectors across the ECOWAS sub-region, reviewing strategies on human capital development, while the launch of the integrated strategy document will be the highpoint of the event.
Other partners at the forum include the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; the World Bank; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Aliko Dangote Foundation, among others.
Nigeria’s HCD programme was launched in March 2018 by the National Economic Council (NEC). It conceptualised the HCD programme with the realisation that human capital development plays a critical role in addressing poverty and ensures participatory and sustainable economic growth.
The goal of the National HCD Vision – which was launched at an extended meeting of NEC focused on the Human Capital Development in December 2018 – is for “Healthy, Educated and Productive Nigerians by the Year 2030”, with targets across three thematic areas: namely Health and Nutrition, Education and Labour Force Participation.
Ahead of today’s forum on Integrated Regional Human Capital Development Strategy, Prof. Osinbajo has urged improved cooperation among West African countries to address the issues of healthcare access, out-of-school children among other human development indices.
The Vice President stated this when he received the Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau, Mr Nuno Gomes Nabiam, on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The Prime Minister is visiting Nigeria to attend a meeting on ECOWAS Integrated Regional Human Capital Development.
Thanking Mr Nabiam for honouring the invitation to attend the conference, the Vice President said, “the Human Capital Development meeting is very important, it is an opportunity to share experience and help each other.”
Prof Osinbajo noted that Nigeria’s “National Economic Council (NEC) has done a lot of work on Human Capital Development, focusing on various challenges including questions around out of school and healthcare access”.
The Vice President however acknowledged that the indices show that a lot more work still needed to be done.
Prof Osinbajo commended President Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea Bissau for his strong support for Nigeria, describing him as a very good friend of the country and President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Vice President noted that Guinea Bissau and President Embalo have always supported Nigeria internationally. He congratulated the country for recently warding off a coup détat and wished it well in all its endeavour.
Guinea Bissau Prime Minister extolled the leadership qualities of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, stating that “what the President of Nigeria and Vice President are doing inspires us too.”
He extended the goodwill message of President Embalo, noting that the President of Guinea Bissau and himself would always work to improve relations between both countries.”