Soludo Hosts S’East Conference, Advocates Regional Education Board to Grow Human Capital


~ Says division among S’East states detrimental to growth

Anambra State governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo yesterday hosted the South-east regional conference on human capital development, where he advocated for a regional education board to fashion out a curriculum for the region.

The governor also said that the South-east can come together and set up a teacher certification institute to certify teachers for schools in the region.

Soludo who was reacting to recommendations and policy documents unveiled by technocrats during the conference, in the area of education, labour and health, said they can be adopted by the governors of the region to grow human capital.

He said the South-east cannot afford to lag behind in the area of human capital development, being that it has the least land mass in the country, and also the least natural resources.

“Your recommendations are excellent. I will read them with keen interest and see which of them we can take. We have little land mass in the South-east. We are actually the smallest with Lagos State, but while Lagos is reclaiming land from sea, we are loosing our land to gully erosion.

“Anambra is the world’s gully erosion capital. In the South-east, we are land locked, and we have least mineral resources. Our only boost is human capital.

“Human capital naturally is our only dependable resource. It has been so yesterday and today, and will remain so tomorrow. This conference is pivotal to who we are. And if we do not mind about human resources, then we are going nowhere. We must work on that.

“I listened to your recommendations on education, but who said the South-east cannot set up a regional education board to fashion out a curriculum for students in the region.

“Must we always use what others are using? Who knows, you may fashion out a curriculum that will attract the interest of other people, and the world at large.

“The various governments of the South-east can come together and set up a teacher certification institute to certify teachers for schools in the region too.

“We have heard in the past when some governments of the South-east had to send home some workers, saying they are not from our state. We just recruited 5,000 teachers in Anambra State, but I told the ministry not to accept if I recommend anybody to them. We employed people from every state.

“All I need is for the best teachers to be employed. Our children deserve the best teachers, and all they hope to get is the very best, no matter where the teachers come from.

“In my own eyes, I don’t see those boundaries and for the greatness of Nigeria, we must not see those boundaries.”

The governor reiterated his call for patronage for locally manufactured goods, saying that is the only way to boost the economy.

“How do you get the farmers to go and produce food, how do you encourage the graduate to go into farming and the rest, if you do not patronize them?

“For me, I wear Akwaete, a local fabric, which is hand made. To me it is not just fashion, but a bold statement, and today, if you go to Akwaete in Abia State where the materials are produced, the demand have gone up, and the women producing them are happy.”

The conference which was attended by participants from all the five South-eastern states, also had representatives of the governors of the states.

The conference had the theme: changing the narrative – towards entrenching human capital development in the South east Nigeria.

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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