THIS is a fact that many know, but which is hardly acknowledged. In reviewing the trajectory of countries like the USA, Japan, Norway, Germany, Britain, Singapore, and now Brazil and India, the role of qualitative human capital in their advancement and in upholding their successes today as rich societies cannot be overlooked. In the political terrain, decisions on human capital development are even more difficult.
In an era where people are eager to see the immediate and tell tale signs of democracy dividends, it is risky to preach human capital development. One, achievements in this area are hardly “seen”; and two, it takes longer gestation periods.
That is why only the bold and visionary can contemplate it, much more making it a priority. In Delta state, this is the choice the Uduaghan administration has made. I dare say, future generations will remember this hard choice and be grateful to him.
It is in this regard that, I was not prepared for the new Saint Patrick’s College Asaba when we arrived there. In fact, on the bus ride through Asaba town, I had cynically remarked to myself who the new moneybag in town could be to have built such imposing and gigantic edifice as home when we approached it! Only for me to learn that it was good old Saint Patrick’s College (SPC)! I had left the school after one year of High School in 1982.
I immediately alighted from the vehicle and tried to reconnect with my roots. But the new SPC is light years away from the one I attended then. Built on an imposing three storey structure spread across the front of the old school, the new SPC can rival any school of its kind in the world.
The building is not only state of the art, the classrooms are very well furnished for comfort and functionality and the laboratories very well equipped. I tell you the students that will pass through its portals will have no reason to feel inferior to their peers anywhere in the world. And that is as should be!
If Nigeria is to attain its rightful place as leader of the black world and grow into one of the leading twenty economies of the world, our public school system must speak to our ambitions. I was to learn that 10 of such schools of such magnitude are being built across the state as first phase.
And that over 100 schools have been constructed to modern standards! I saw a bit of that at the central primary school in the Ogbogunogo area of Asaba, and it was the same vision at work. The school is as good as any primary school you can find, and complete with a well kept playing field.
The aim is to develop well taught and well drilled pupils. As the saying goes: A healthy mind is found in a healthy body! Delta has a rich pedigree in sports, and it is the present administration’s vision to consolidate it, by catching them young. There are scores of these schools spread across the three senatorial districts of the state.
In another few months, it will be mid-term on the second administration of Uduaghan. So it is safe to say, that the administration is on the home stretch. Will history be kind to him? I think so. As the gentleman governor himself said at the interview, his hope is to run a good race and handle over a banner without stain to his successor.
Deltans, he said, will remember him for good or bad, depending on how his policies have impacted them. Such forthrightness! Such equanimity!