Mrs Debbie Palmer, Nigeria Head, United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), has advised the federal government to invest in human capital to enhance growth and development in the country.
She gave the advice at the induction ceremony for new and returning governors organised by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) in Abuja.
She said that investing in education, health and infrastructure would help to create jobs for the youth and there help bring the desired change in the country.
Palmer said Nigeria’s population had always been a huge asset and path to its greatness, but for her to attain its greatness and to take its place in the comity of nations by 2050, “she will need to turn things around”.
“We will need to invest in people, who will drive the economy of the country in the future. We need to nourish, educate and give the young population jobs, including the children that will be born in the next few days, weeks and months.”
Palmer said these determine a country’s future hence, there is a lot to do and it required urgent works.
She also said Nigeria’s economic growth could be achieved by harnessing the potential of her population and that required hard infrastructure like roads and power.
“It also requires a great deal of soft infrastructure, what we may call human capital,’’ she added.
Palmer recalled that in the current human capital index, Nigeria was on number 152 out of 157 countries, and also had the highest number of out of school children in the world.
“In order for the country to move to greatness, we need to nourish educated young people, who can take up work to create jobs for themselves, the families, societies and the nation.
“Presently, Nigeria spends less on health proportionally than South Sudan, less than any country in the world,’’ she noted.
Palmer said that the UK Government was determined to work with Nigeria to reduce poverty and promote prosperity.