Mr. Roman Oseghale, Head Consultant and CEO of IntelServe Inc., a Canadian Business Analytical Services Company has reiterated the importance of Human Capital Development using data to back up his research.
He stated that no nation among over 100 countries that has been surveyed in the research relegated education and prospered, everything Nigeria is facing today is as a result of poor education funding, he stated that the blue print for national development was Human Capital Development and that the answer was right in front of everyone but no one is looking in the right direction.
His research and presentation at The Platform on October 2 revealed how the socioeconomic activities of the country is falling apart because of governments inadequate investment in Human Capital Development (Education and Skills) in the youths of the country.
In 2017 with a projected GDP of USD$408.3 bn, a population of 182 million, Nigeria’s education budget is USD$1.77 bn representing 7.4% of the budget and 0.43% of expected GDP at the end of the year compared to USD$3.038 bn in 1981 with a GDP of USD$61.1 bn with a population of 75.7 million which represented about 30% of the budget and 4.97% of the GDP.
Compared to other countries that were surveyed, Nigeria has only spent USD$52.79 bn from the federal level in 46 years despite being one of the most populated countries. Brazil has spent USD$1.6 tn, Chile has spent 131.2 bn, Mexico 939.8 bn, Canada 1.68 tn, United Kingdom 2.88 tn, Germany 3.74 tn, USA 18.01 tn, Egypt 161.3 bn, South Africa 372.6 bn, Thailand 234 bn, Indonesia 282.6 bn, and Malaysia 214.4 bn to mention a few.
He pointed out that investment in the knowledge economy was the main driver of economic growth, he made it known that because of lack of education investment, Nigeria has continued to slip down the Global Competitiveness Index, from 83rd position in 2005, to 127th position in 2010 and has remained at 127th since…he stated that countries that invest heavily in education were moving up the ranks, examples were Indonesia from 69 to 41, China from 48 to 28, Malaysia which stayed at 25, Singapore from 5 to 2, and Philippines from 73 to 57.
He stated that Nigeria was relatively stable in the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s and had a balance in its socioeconomic activities because the country was investing in Human Capital Development which reached its peak of 4.97% of GDP approximately 5% of GDP as stipulated by the United Nations.
He stated that the country may not understand the concept of education beyond the institution, a place where knowledge is obtained, certificate and degrees are given, and a tool that moves a child out of poverty, he argued that education was the weapon used in balancing all facets of the socioeconomic activities and as education funding continued to drop all facets of the society started falling apart creating a threat to both social and economic stability of the country.
He pointed out that education is an investment and not an expense, a tool used for economic growth and sustainability and that education is the weapon used to balance the socioeconomic activities of any country, and that if you destroy education you destroy everything. He stated that once public education is underfunded and destroyed, the country invariably destroys the socioeconomic activities and every facet of the socioeconomic factors starts to fall apart. He stated that education is the glue that holds the socioeconomic activities of a country together.
The research showed that from 1982 education expenditure started dropping and dropped below USD$1 bn in 1986 and stayed below USD$1 bn, it wasn’t until 2006 that education expenditure climbed above USD1 bn again in 20 years. He pointed out that education expenditure did not reach USD$3 bn again until 2011, the amount the government spent in 1981…..it took government 30 years to spend the same amount they spent in 1981 on education. And all the while education expenditure was reducing, population was increasing.
Through his research he was able to point out how Nigeria was ahead of many Asian countries in per capita income in the 60’s, 70’s, and early 80’s because of Nigeria’s investment in Education, but as soon as Nigeria stopped investing in education and the Asian countries picked up, their per capita income surpassed that of Nigeria.
He said that “underfunding education leads to fall in Per Capita Income, which leads to population explosion, increase in poverty, with poverty leading to crime, at the same time poverty also leads to social unrest, with social unrest leading to state/regional instability which leads to economic loss for the country. On the other hand population explosion also leads to environmental degradation which leads to health issues and leads to economic loss for the country.
The research highlighted the worrisome part; extreme poverty has continued to drop in the world and by region, total living in extreme poverty as a percentage of population in the world dropped from 52.7% in 1981 to 10.7% in 2013.
While the largest regions with extreme poverty has also continued to drop…Sub-Saharan Africa has dropped from 52.8% in 1981 to 41% in 2013, South Asia from 61.4% to 15.1%, East Asia/Pacific has dropped from 78% to 3.5% in the same period.
Nigeria’s share of extreme poverty as a percentage of people living in extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa has continued to increase….from 17.6% in 1981 to 28.4% in 2011, and to 32.2% in 2013….while Nigeria is 18.8% the population of Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria share of extreme poverty is 32.2%…..which means that as at 2013, one in every three persons living in extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa is a Nigerian while in 1981 it was one in every 5.6 persons….while extreme poverty is reducing in Sub-Saharan Africa, that of Nigeria is increasing. Nigeria share of extreme poverty increased by 83% between 1981 and 2013.
He stated that as poverty increases, crime increases…..data showed that Nigeria’s prison population increased by 26% between 2011 to 2015 while population increased by 10% during the same period, with offence against properties and offence against persons being the highest.