•Inaugurates steering, technical committees on human capital development

Damilola Aina, Abuja

Daily Courier – Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu,SAN, has reiterated his stance to ensure that his administration remain committed to the delivery of good governance geared towards improved human capital.

The Governor in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, at the inauguration of the State Steering Committee and the Technical Committee on Human Capital Development (HCD) said, the “REDEEMED” agenda of his administration is enriched with programmes that would serve as catalysts to achieve Nigeria’s Human Capital Development targets.

The Governor, who said the people remained the centre of his administration’s policies, noted that the need to further strengthen Human Capital Development made it imperative for the state to buy in to the Human Capital Development Programme initiated by the National Economic Council.

“As we all know, Human Capital is the knowledge, skills and health accumulated by people over their lifetimes, which enable them to realise their potential as productive members of the society.

“When we talk about investing in Human Capital, we mean investing in people through health care, nutrition, functional education and skills. Investment in Human Capital is, therefore, critical to the future of our dear Sunshine State.” He explained.

Governor Akeredolu maintained that an educated, healthy and productive population is essential to reducing poverty and achieving sustainable economic growth and prosperity.

According to him:”It is against this backdrop that the National Economic Council launched Human Capital Development Programme with the aim of increasing investment in the Nigerian people, thereby improving Nigeria’s current poor Human Capital Development indices.”

He said his administration, in the last five years have devoted concerted energy and directed policies towards improving Ondo State Human Capital Development indices in the three thematic areas of Health and Nutrition, Education, and Labour Force Participation.

“For instance, to address school enrolment rate, completion rate and quality of learning, over 1,200 teachers were recruited recently to reduce teacher-pupil ratio in our schools.

“The WAEC conducted Senior School Certificate Examination fee is being paid by the State Government annually for all SS3 students in the public secondary schools.

“There has been continuous rehabilitation and reconstruction of dilapidated primary school buildings across the 18 Local Government Areas of the State to provide conducive learning environment. We hope to commence same in our secondary schools in due course.

“The School Shuttle Bus Scheme that was suspended due to COVID-19 pandemic and operational hitch in 2020 will soon bounce back under a modified arrangement.

“To address infant/adult mortality rates and malnutrition in the in State, we increased Mother-and-Child Hospitals from three to seven.

Earlier in his presentation, the guest speaker and Regional Consultant HCD (South-West), Dr Dayo Adeyanju, who spoke on Human Capital Development in Nigeria, explained that Nigeria is not doing well in terms of human capital development.

He, however, applauded Governor Akeredolu, for his unwavering commitment to human capital development in line with his administration’s second term REDEEMED Agenda.

Adeyanju who is a former Commissioner for Health in the state, also lauded the Governor for paying WAEC fees of secondary school students in the state, adding that the number of out of school children in the state is low.

Also, the state Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Pastor Emmanuel Igbasan, explained that the committees would be saddled with the responsibility of crafting the strategic plan to address poor indicators of human capital development in Nigeria and particularly Ondo State.

Daily Courier reports that the 9-member Steering committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa has the following members: the commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget who is also the Vice Chairman, Pastor Emmanuel Igbasan; the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget who is the Secretary of the committee, Mr Bunmi Alade; Commissioner for Health, Dr Banji Ajaka; Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Pastor Femi Agagu; Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Hon. Dele Ologun; the Head of Service, Pastor John Adeyemo; Special Adviser to the Governor on Entrepreneurship, Mr Summy Smart Francis; and the commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperative Services, Hon. Lola Fagbemi.

Others are members of the Technical Committee chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Bunmi Alade; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Pharm. Mrs Folukemi Aladenola; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youths and Sports Development; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development; Permanent Secretary, Primary Healthcare Development Agency; Permanent Secretary, State Universal Basic Education Board; Permanent Secretary , Board for Adult , Technical and Vocational Education; Permanent Secretary, Teaching Service Commission; and the Chairman, Coalition of Civil Societies Organization.