Human Capital Development in Enugu State in The Past 20years


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Education is an extremely important element in the organisation of modern society. There is now growing awareness in both developed and developing countries of the role of education. According to Adawo (2011) Nigeria had the fastest growing educational industry in the African continent. For instance in 1960, Nigeria had two universities (university of Ibadan and university of Nigeria, Nsukka) with student enrolment of about 1,400. Forty years later, Nigeria had 77 universities, an increase of 75 universities and percentage increase of 3750 (Umo cited in Adawo, 2011). Today, the total number of universities in Nigeria has increased geometrically without a corresponding increase in funding and undermines the place of education on the current legislative list in the 1999 constitution that provided the legal framework for educational management in Nigeria. Primary and secondary schools at 1960 were 15,703 and this has increased to 50, 741 in 2004, an increase of 35,038 or a percentage increase of 233%. The number of secondary schools was 833 in 1960 and increased to 10913 in 2004, an increase of 10030 or percentage increase of 1136% (Adawo, 2011).

Webster‟s universal dictionary and thesaurus (2010), define education as a process of learning and training, instruction as impacted in schools, colleges and universities. In the light of the above, education therefore means a process by which an individual gains knowledge, insight, develop attitudes or skills. It can therefore be summarised as a process of transmitting cultural values and skills that will help to develop human knowledge. Adedeji (2010) holds the same view and posits that education is a process of transmitting cultural values and other information from generation to generation. According to Nakpodia (2010), education is a systematic instruction for the development of character or mental power.

Roa (2001), cited in Nakpodia (2010) noted that there is an immediate and urgent need for giving education to the people in order to build up our future. Education is synonymous to learning instruction, teaching, acquiring knowledge and guidance. The success of every educational system depends on the quality and quantity of factors of production, that is, human and material resources. According to Nakpodia (2010), all of the factors, the human resources appear to be the most important because without human efforts, all other factors are inept.

Accordingly, Delta state should invest strategically on education so as to develop her human capital. Young-lee (1996), Obisi (2003) and Obisi and Anyim (2012), asserted that educational enthusiasm has enabled South Korea to have highly educated people who will help to develop the Korean economy. This implies that education and human capital development are catalysts to national development, which will impact positively on the country‘s economy, infrastructural development, and other facets of the social system. Young-lee (1996) explained that the more people are highly educated, the more positive impact they will make in the country‘s development. This is because through education, specific human capital abilities would be acquired. This will include acquisition of conceptual knowledge, development of capabilities, development of skills attitudes and orientation.

In the light of the above, the success of our education depends on the level of human capital development, and utilisation of information machinery and services. Aniekwu and Ozochi (2010) explain that education is the key to creating, adopting and spreading knowledge. Basic education increases people‘s capacity to learn and to interpret information. However in Nigeria, the standard of education is dropping. Blumende (2001) reported that the decline in the quality of education cannot be ignored by anyone who is aware of the significant role of education as an instrument of social transformation and development.

This potential role of education particularly in developing countries is to fulfil its responsibilities frequently .However this is thwarted by long standing problem of finance efficiency, equity, quality and governance (Saint, Hartnet & Strassner, 2003). The financing of higher education is placed within the context of overall education sector financing. Although tertiary education presently receives a larger share of the education vote the latter portion of the federal budget has diminished using data from 1962. Callaway and Musone (1965) concluded that Nigerian education expenditure represented 3.5% of GDP and 15.2% of total government expenditure. From the above, it means that education both at the federal and state level in Nigeria is underfunded; whereas good quality education and standard of school, according to Asiyai (2012) depend largely on the provision, adequacy, utilisation and management of educational facilities.

In Nigeria, school enrolment has continued to increase without a corresponding increase in facilities for effective teaching and learning as a result of underfunding of education in Nigeria (Asiya, 2012). The above situation, suggests that education is accorded secondary value in Nigeria‘s value system. This is also evident in the state budgetary allocation to schools. According to Aigbokhan, Imahen and Ailemen (2007) cited in Aluko and Aluko (2011), noted that a cursory look at the magnitude and trend of increases in allocation might be misleading in passing judgement on the budgetary performance until they are placed side-by-side with their percentage allocations. They further noted that the characteristic pattern of the government allocation to education and health in Nigeria as a percentage of the total budget revealed inconsistency. The implication is that education is not given primary attention in the budget and since the late 70‘s, budgetary allocation to education has not matched the increasing needs of qualitative education for Nigerians to be globally competitive. Research grants are administered discretionally instead of systematically when they are available ( Aluko & Aluko, 2011). As a result of this, government attitude towards education has been very poor and Nigeria‘s educational system tends to produce graduates who lack job skills for employment than those the economy requires to remain vibrant.

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