Human capital development and its decline in Nigeria’s economy

May 17, 2018 Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

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Ogunniyi Abayomi



Scarcity has not been erased in the narrative of how we manage the socio-economic environment, the business climate having endured several challenges and problems, creating a toxic and controversial relationship between management and staff. The economic potential of natural resources cannot proffer help, solutions and ideas to the economic rigors, industries owned by the federal government are being sold to a billionaire, and there is little or no chance of massive employment by a man who is more interested in making a profit, secluding the motive of economic development from his mind.


Politicians and economic delegates from Nigeria implore the lip service tactics, luring foreign investors to an economy that yields no return, exposing our deficiency rather than strength. Businesses are disrupted when the basic amenities required are not available, hence if they are available, are substandard and poorly maintained by the individual in charge of the equipment. Ade was newly employed into the company last month, a few months later he was sacked because he could not meet up with the standard of the company. The questions therefore remain on this same premise; what skill have you learned and what ideas do you want to offer?; he had no answer to the riddle, because he has no knowledge of corporate social responsibility, business and corporations, despite the educational qualification.


Ade’s situation of being sacked a few months after his appointment, raises the question of knowledge and awareness of working in a corporate environment, the necessary skills to attain and how effective we communicate our ideas. Human resources have been neglected; we have forsaken the need for human capital development which is an essential and important factor the economic societies thrive on.


Human capital developments are skills and awareness needed to be productive with the aim of attaining full business potential. The human traits and qualities require a total acquisition of social, mental and physical awareness necessary for productivity, harnessing their ability to attain a goal to maximize production. Human capital development is an indicator of economic growth, measuring the efficiency and productivity level via certain input; it is proof of a growing economy, investing in education and awareness, in addition to technological and social development across society. It is determined by certain factors which are skills and qualification, education level, social skills communication, intelligence, emotional intelligence, judgment, personality, habits and traits, creativity, brand image and geography. Human capital development can be attained via the development of the educational sector, industrial and vocational skills, provision of infrastructure, healthy competition and harnessing creative talent to enhance a productive society.


Nigeria, a state blessed with natural and human resources, performs below par regarding human capital development; it is sad and disheartening to discover the high rate of illiteracy within our society. Religious and ethnic violence secludes our awareness of human capacity and improvement within the country. Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate and former chief economist of the World Bank, once bemoaned Nigeria’s artificial oil revenues-led “growth without jobs,” a phrase that was reiterated by Bill Gates at the session of the National Economic Council in Abuja organized in April by the World Bank.


His words ‘’just as people without ports and factories can’t flourish, so also roads, ports and factories without skilled workers to build and manage them can’t sustain an economy,’’ reveal the potential lost if certain individuals do not acquire certain skills and awareness; there being low productivity and a decline in the economy. The sad story of Nigeria has been the poor and bleary ideologies and vision of primary, secondary and tertiary institutions towards educational development, the skill and awareness are not embedded, often many Nigeria graduates spending more outside the educational institution, regressing, asking questions over the knowledge he spent four years acquiring.


According to research by the World Economic Forum; over 130 million citizens estimated to be living in poverty to an acceptable level resonates across the international development community. Nigeria was ranked 122 in development according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Human Capital Index, a figure that raises concern over the country’s awareness to human capital development, raising our individual skills and awareness that implores economic development and efficiency, an attribute sometimes declined by corporate organizations and industries.


The business environment has suffered due to the lack of skills and knowledge that enact and enable the economy to thrive; do we lack innovation, are we implementing ideas and thinking critically to foster development? Nigeria has rather shifted its focus on oblivious matters, corporations more ready to invest in entertainment rather than train its staff to be productive in the economic society.


Human capital development is the backbone of a developed state, it is the necessary attribute of an effective economic society, the society cannot thrive if its individuals are not equipped mentally, socially, financially and economically, likewise technologically.






Ogunniyi Abayomi

Ogunniyi Abayomi was born July 11, 1991 in the city of Lagos, where he resides. A poet and essayist whose works have been published in various journals.

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