By Florence Ugbem
Benue State Deputy Governor, Engr Benson Abounu has inaugurated the Benue State Human Capital Development (HCD) Council with a charge to draw up plans that would be implementable and guided towards sustainable growth and development of the state.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony which was held Tuesday at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi, Chairman of the committee, Engr Abounu charged the 14-member committee to draw up implementable and achievable plans that the state government can key into, in order to improve human development and productivity in
Engr Abounu emphasized the state government’s prioritization of human capital development, as seen in the Governor Samuel Ortom led administration’s programmes and initiatives in education, health and youth development.
He stressed the need for human development, stating that it is human capital development, that makes the difference between a population boost and population burden. He added that, their administration’s policy is to ensure that every Benue youth have opportunities for education and skills development.
The deputy governor said: “We must try as a government to provide opportunity for the young ones so that they can actualise their dreams, and the government must provide the most enabling environment to achieve their aim.”
The Director General, Benue Planning Commission and Focal Person, HCD Council, Mr Sam Unom in his opening remark, explained that the HCD programme was aimed at increasing investment in Nigerians, thereby improving Nigeria’s human capital development indices. He said it is also meant to address poverty, ensure participatory and sustainable economic growth.
Mr Unom revealed that the HCD programme focuses on three thematic areas of social protection, inclusion and gender empowerment with six critical outcomes which includes; under five mortality rate, malnutrition, adult mortality, expected years of school, quality of learning and labour force participation rate.
Members of the HCD Council include: Engr Abounu as Chairman; Assistant Director Planning, Benue State Planning Commission as Secretary.
Others are Commissioners for Education, Health and Human Services, Special Advisers to the Governor on Labour and Productivity, Primary Education, Secondary Education, Sustainable Development Goals, Director General of State Planning Commission, Executive Secretaries of State Primary Healthcare Board, Health Insurance Agency, and Directors of Technical Cooperation and Statistics of Benue State Planning Commission as members.