Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has, on Thursday, said that the welfare and security of Nigerians are more important than every other agenda in the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)’s regime.
This was as he said the most important work the government could do were planning and investing in human capital development, healthcare, nutrition, quality education, skills, and jobs.
Osinbajo said these at the launching of the Human Capital Development Strategy Document for Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States, in Abuja.
Osinbajo stated that it was important for any nation to invest in Human Capital Development, noting that “our people are central to all that the governments, private sector and civil society partners do. The most important pieces of work that we can do are on planning and investing in human capital development, healthcare, nutrition, quality education, skills, and jobs.”
“Inadequate nourishment results in suboptimal learning outcomes and a lifetime of disadvantage, especially in what is becoming a fiercely competitive knowledge economy.
“Also, because idle youthful populations portend an increased risk of social instability; we must invest in relevant skills as we provide good-paying jobs and opportunities,” he said.
The Vice President said the effective use of scarce resources is the thin line between a demographic dividend and a demographic disaster.
“Whether those resources are judiciously used in a manner that best benefits our people or those resources are squandered, this is what will mean the difference in the dividends we expect for our population, or it could be just misery and disaster.”
Osinbajo stated that investments in Human Capital Development were more crucial at this period in the continent, adding that Africa had the youngest and growing population at about a doubled rate compared to the rest of the world.
“By 2050, West Africa will have 650 million people. Almost 400 million will be young people. And we will have to provide quality basic education and healthcare for them and nutrition.
“Nigeria and other African countries are in a race against time. All these mean that governments face huge public expenditures, and these expenditures grow as our populations increase daily.
“In these massive challenges, lie the incredible opportunities of being the most profitable investment frontier in the world, of becoming the global food basket, of becoming the greatest source of highly trained human resources in technology, engineering, sciences, and in the creative sector among others,” the Vice President said.