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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

All hands must be on deck in the fight towards total eradication of poverty in the West African sub region and Nigeria especially since Nigeria happens to be the giant of Africa. It is no news that Africa as a continent is believed to be one of the poorest continents on earth and so is West Africa in the African continent. The poverty level in Nigeria has become so high that it is regarded as one of the major developmental challenges to her economic and social growth. Research has it that about 50% of the nation’s population is living below the poverty line. This means that these Nigerians cannot, with any degree of comfort, afford the basic needs of life like food clothing and shelter. It needs not be over-emphasized that this is not only unacceptable, but also pathetic. The leaders on their part have made varied efforts and attempts to check and arrest this phenomenon, fabulous sums of money have been spent over decades of trials. This paper will examine how business education will assist in poverty alleviation. This is to complement government’s effort in this direction. Business education according to Osuala (1996) is a programme of instruction which consists of two parts which are office education which is a vocational education programmed for office careers through initial, refresher programme that provides students with information and competencies which are needed by all in managing personal business affairs and in using the services of business. Office education involves education for office occupations, or the acquisition of skills, attitudes, aptitudes, and knowledge needed to carry out the function of office (Osagie, 1992). Such occupation may include book-keeping transcribing, telephone operation, stenography, confidential secretaryship, machine operation etc. Which in addition involve management and advancement in occupations related to the office. Business education is an educational process, whose primary aim is to prepare people for role in enterprises, as employers, entrepreneurs or self-employed (Amaewhule, 2000). Anao (1986) said thatbusiness education could be seen as the sum total of the knowledge, skill and attitude that are required for successfully promoting and administering business enterprises.

Education is also an important contributor to technological capability and technical change in industry. Statistical analysis of the clothing and engineering industries in Nigeria showed that the skill and education levels of workers and entrepreneurs were positively related to the rate of technical change of the firm (Deraniyagal, 2005). Education alone, of course cannot transform an economy. The quality and quality of investment, domestic and foreign, together with the overall policy environment, form the other important determinants of economic performance. Yet the level of human development has a fearing on these factors too. The quality of policy making and of investment decisions is bound to be influenced by the education of both policy makers and managers. According to Lucas 2008, for example, the higher the level of education of the work force the higher the overall productivity of capital because the more educated are more likely to innovate, and thus affect everyone’s productivity. This implies that increased education of individuals raises not only their own productivity but also that of others with whom they interact, so that total productivity increases as the average level of education rises (Perotti, 2008). The impact of education on the nature and growth of exports, which, in turn, affect the aggregate growth rate, is another way in which human development influences a country’s performance. The education and skills of a developing country’s labor force influence the nature of its factor endowment and consequently the composition of its trade. It has been argued that even ‘unskilled’ workers in a modern factory normally need the literacy, numeracy, and discipline, which are acquired in primary and lower secondary school (Wood, 2009).


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