Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday, said that the development of human capital is key to the progress and prosperity of any nation.
Osinbajo made the remark in Lagos while speaking at the “40th Anniversary Re-Union Symposium’’ organised by the 1979 Economics Class of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
The theme of the symposium was “Alternative Approach to Financing Public University Education for Effective Human Capital Development in Nigeria.’’
The Vice-President noted that what separated the developed and the under-developed countries of the world was the high quality of the human capital of the former.
He added that the development of the Western countries, as well as the Asian Tigers, was not by accident but by massive investment in human capital.
Osinbajo said the government was committed to a knowledge-driven economy, hence, its increased investments in the education sector.
The Vice-President added that the government was also implementing programmes and policies to improve access to education, to catalyse the country’s progress.
He described the 10million out-of-school children as an undesirable situation, saying that the Federal Government was collaborating with the state governments to address the problem.
The Vice-President said the Federal Government was investing massively in the free and compulsory education for children, for the first nine years of their lives.
He urged the state governments to complement the efforts of the Federal Government by showing more commitment to basic education.
Osinbajo said the government’s school feeding programme had improved enrolment by about 40 per cent and that the government was strengthening the programme to record more gains.
The Vice-President said the girl-child education was strategic to development, saying the government was giving it all the attention it deserves.
“Some studies have shown that girls are smarter than boys.
“Any nation that does not educate its girls is doing itself a great harm.
“How do you solve your problem when you lock up your best minds?
“So, educating the girl-child is not only sound economics but can also help to reduce the problem of population growth.
“One of the reasons we have a large population is early marriages and it is because many of these girls are not educated.
“When you educate these girls, you can actually reduce population growth rate. We are committed to the girl-child education and we are doing a lot to get our girls in schools,’’ he said.