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Human capital for sustainable development: where does Nigeria stand?

Rasaki Stephen Dauda


The third and fourth sustainable development goals (SDGs) deal directly with human resource issues, while about 90% of the remaining 15 goals are human resource related. The import of this is that the sustainability of development is people-centred. However, if people, who form the human resource stock of a nation, lack the requisite skills, they may be handicapped in their productive responsibilities towards the desired development. Available evidence suggests that Nigeria is yet to make much progress in the area of the SDGs. Currently, she ranks 145 out of 157 countries, having scored 48.6% in the SDG index. In the human-capital related SDGs — goal 3 (Good health and well-being) and goal 4 (Quality education) —the country recorded 27.6% and 42.0%, respectively. It is against this backdrop that the current study assessed the position of Nigeria vis-à-vis human capital for sustainable development. It reviews literature and facts relating to the human capital development process and concludes that Nigeria still lags behind with respect to the human capital required for sustainable development. Moreover, inadequate funding is one of the fundamental problems confronting human capital development activities in Nigeria. It is therefore recommended that appropriate  policies should be put in place to develop human capital to accelerate sustainable development in Nigeria, possibly through greater funding of education, health care facilities and services, training, apprenticeship, migration policies, and special programmes to develop the managerial capabilities required to improve the capacity of people, to enable them contribute meaningfully to human development.

Keywords: Human capital, Sustainable development, SDG index, Nigeria

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print ISSN: 2315-6317