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1.1 Background of the study
Human capital development is human centered because its major concern is on human empowerment which would lead to active participation. According to OECD (2001), human capital is concerned with knowledge, skills competitiveness and attributes embedded in an individual that facilitates the creation of personal, social, education and economic wellbeing. In order to achieve positive economic growth in Nigeria, human capital development should be considered as an integral and important factor for education and economic growth. A major challenge facing the global community and Nigeria at large is how to achieve sustainable development. The three pillars of sustainable development cannot be achieved if human capital development doesn’t come to play as an integral part. In Nigeria, the annual federal government budget to educational sector (in percentages) is nothing to talk about, statistics show that the percentages over the years are not in line with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) recommendation of 26.0% it was discovered that from 2005-2007,the percentage was 6.3%, 7.8%, respectively. A poor country is a country, which never invested sufficiently in its human capital development and the citizens who are supposed to be at the centre of the economic growth would be poverty stricken. Human capital as defined by Schutz (1993) is the key element in improving firms’ asset and employees in order to improve productivity as well as sustain competitive advantage. Human capital becomes a tool for competitive advantage since it involves the process of training, knowledge acquisition (education), initiatives and so on, all these are geared towards skill acquisition. Education can improve labor quality, drive the spread of new knowledge and improve labor’s ability to introduce, imitate and apply advanced technologies. Human capital theory holds that the well-being of a society is a function not only of the traditional stocks of financial capital, labour and natural resources but also of the knowledge and skills of individuals. This “human capital” can be used like any other asset to generate outcomes of value to individuals and society. In particular, the theory predicts that increased knowledge and skill will yield improved economic outcomes for both individuals and societies. This idea has attained increased prominence in the past couple of decades because of the widely held view that we are in a “knowledge economy,” in which knowledge and skill convey a greater premium than in the past. The development of human capital has been recognized by economists to be a key prerequisite for a country’s socio-economic and political transformation. Among the generally agreed causal factors responsible for the impressive performance of the economies of most of the developed and the newly industrializing countries is an impressive commitment to human capital formation (Adedeji and Bamidele, 2003; World Bank, 1995; Barro, 1991). This has been largely achieved through increased knowledge, skills and capabilities acquired through education and training by all the people of these countries. It has been stressed that the differences in the level of socio-economic development across nations is attributed not so much to natural resources and endowments and the stock of physical capital but to the quality and quantity of human resources. According to Oladeji and Adebayo (1996), human resources are a critical variable in the growth process and worthy of development. They are not only means but more importantly, the ends that must be served to achieve economic progress. This is underscored by Harbinson (1973) who opined that “human resources constitute the ultimate basis for the wealth of nations. Capital and natural resources are passive factors of production; human beings are the active agents who accumulate capital, exploit natural resources, build social, economic, and political organizations, and carry forward national development. Clearly, a country which is unable to develop the skills and knowledge of its people and to utilize them effectively in the national economy will be unable to develop anything else”. Investment in human capital plays an important role in increasing competitiveness, improving quality of life of the population and in generating economic growth and development of a country.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Human capital development is human centered because its major concern is on human empowerment which would lead to active participation. According to OECD (2001), human capital is concerned with knowledge, skills competitiveness and attributes embedded in an individual that facilitates the creation of personal, social and economic wellbeing. In order to achieve positive economic growth in Nigeria, human capital development should be considered as an integral and important factor for economic growth. It on this view the researcher wants to analyze human capital development, education and economic growth in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is analysis of human capital development, education and economic growth in Nigeria. But for the successful completion of the study; the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objectives.
1. To ascertain the impact of human capital development on education in Nigeria
2. To ascertain the relationship between human capital development and economic growth
3. To ascertain the commitment of government on human capital development
4. To ascertain whether human capital contribute to the National development
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: human capital does not contribute to the National development
H1: human capital contribute to the National development
H02: there is no relationship between human capital development and economic growth
H2: there is relationship between human capital development and economic growth
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of benefit to the government of Nigeria. The study will help to know the essence of developing human capital. The study will also be of great benefit to the researchers who intends to embark on research on similar topics as it will serve as a guide. Finally, the study will be of great importance to academia’s, lecturers, teachers, students and the general public.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers analysis of human capital development, education and economic growth in Nigeria. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
HUMAN CAPITAL: The collective skills, knowledge, or other intangible assets of individuals that can be used to create economic value for the individuals, their employers, or their community: Education is an investment in human capital that pays off in terms of higher productivity.
EDUCATION: Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research.
ECONOMIC GROWTH: Economic growth is an increase in the capacity of an economy to produce goods and services, compared from one period of time to another. It can be measured in nominal or real terms, the latter of which is adjusted for inflation.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
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