Japheth Weldes Wade; MBA, MNIM
PhD in -View Management
(Economic Development & Public Policy)

I was amazed, when i came across an online report, that Cotonou, the largest and economic base city of Benin Republic on the 13th April 2018, only 53 students sat for the yearly common entrance in the city. Cotonou just like any country in the world is the economic capital of Benin Republic. Just as New York, Kuala Lumpur, Lagos, Johannesburg, Jakarta, Mumbai, and London. This states that most policies for economic development and resource diversification of the country are made. This topic also reminded me of the online column/report whereby the Minister of Education Adamu Adamu, last week during a press conference said only 28 students in Zamfara state registered for their final high school exams. We are quite aware that Zamfara state was one of the six states created by former Gen. Sani Abacha in 1996 and others include; (Ekiti, Nasarawa, Gombe, Bayelsa & Ebonyi) out of, which Gombe state has been outstanding especially towards investment in human capital development (education). These brings to the fore between Benin Republic and Zamfara state. Education is the bedrock of human capital development and the greatest asset a nation can develop and export by thinking outside the box and encouraging young and prospective youths on the strategic need for educational development. Benin Republic a member of the ECOWAS nation and also a neighbouring country to Nigeria has a population of 10,872,298 and GDP of $9,605 billion, per capita $842 and Human Development Index 0.485 ratio and it’s ECONOMY is focused on agriculture which Cotton accounts for 80% of it’s exports and also it’s seaports are used to ship goods from first world countries, who have invested in education and human capital development and so with this, any economist or management scientist can postulate that Benin Republic is one of the poorest nations with low human capital development and yet the economic city Cotonou has low investment in the education sector.

Back to Nigeria Zamfara state has a pupolation of 3, 838, 160, Population of $ 4.12 billion and per capita income of $1,237. The state economy focus on agriculture ( cereal and legumes), high concentration of lead in form of ore and also deposit of gold. Zamfara state can be said to be a state which farming is its pride and has what it takes not only for educational development, but also for economic diversification ( for example some countries like Netherlands & Brazil only farm lands without gold, but they have managed the limited resources of their countries and today Netherland is the second exporter of agricultural items while Brazil is the 11th exporter of agricultural products in the world).

THE PULL FACTOR; The two examples listed above (Benin and Zamfara) are stategic locations, which are important to the economic development and prosperity of the ECOWAS. For the next generation to be successful, we must encourage the basic need of EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN OUR CONTINENT and for us to compete with the global world, THERE IS A BASIC NEED FOR OUR LEADERS TO UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS A THIN LINE BETWEEN “Development & Underdevelopment”; Economic Reformation and Reforming the Unreformables”. These states that; while some see education as a form of economic advancement, for the development of their society; others neglect the purpose and tenacity in which the concept of education was laid between the 14th – 20th centuries. Also radicalist believed that what has kept third world nations out of the league of economic and prosperous nations is because leaders have neglected to invest and create an enabling environment for youths to develop interest in self development through human capital development.

THE PUSH FACTOR; Conspiracy theorist have developed a significant ideology that most leaders in third world nation don’t invest or invest little in educational development and research, this is because they don’ t want the citizens they governed to be aware of their rights and while they clinge to power and make it a family business ( typical in African Countries), whereas the problem faced in the 21st century lies contemporary in educational investments, and this portends danger that by 2045 – 2100 these young people who decided to stay clear of self development (education), will be found making dull and poor economic policies for the country and the ECOWAS region.

While over the past few years various school of thoughts have developed strategic approach on the way forward, which seems not to be working less in our contemporary society system then another approach for the purpose of educational advancement may be looked into. While i may have a different approach (which some scholars also have initiated but implementation has been the problem), the issues towards addressing and reducing the menace of poor educational development in both models (Benin Republic and Zamfara state); The following can address some of the issues.

1. The family is the nucleus of the society and therefore students attitude towards educational development starts by the upbringing from his parents.

2. When the ideology of religion is alligned with educational and self development the child might have a different philosophy whether to develop an interest in educational pursuit or not.

3. The extent at which students are forced to study the preferred courses of their parents and teachers, without developing an interest in what he /she is studying makes it possible for students to abscond and not register for the exams.

4. Interest in educational development and interest is not about QUANTITY, but is all about ACCESS and QUALITY.
5. Educational policies integrates both the concept of human capital development, economic growth and development.

6. When sufficient resources are utilized, it leads to the creation of an environment; whereby students will pick interest and will want to focus and succeed.

7. Educational investment requires sufficient contributions from public (government) & private (the unlimited sector of the society).

8. Educational development is not about building more and more schools ( primary, high or tertiary institutions), but it requires encouraging and training individuals, who will make it possible to manage those institutions to make it strong and viable.

9. The greatest investment in educational development is investing funds and quality in research and focus on the global world. (This is because most insitutions in third world countries focus on past research done by scholars years back and not focusing on research done in the 21st century for future recommendations).

10. Leaders need to be told that education is a sensitive sector which colliding it with politics or political manipulations will surely affect the next generation.

11. Most youths (students) have developed a psychological notion that even after they study in school at the end of the day no job can be provided. It is worthy of note that government can’t provide jobs to all it’s graduates, this is because the public sector ( government) has limited resources, therefore the private sector (individuals) have a unlimited access towards job creation. This finally leads to both public and private sector contributing together to encourage emerging entrepreneurs.

In conclusion while Benin Republic and Zamfara state are faced with challenges of students having interest in educational pursuit, there is a need to know that some other models are faced with greater challenges. The success of a viable country or state lies within the thinking of it’s leaders and how policies are formulated and implemented. The worlds richest people might not have acquired MBA’s or PhD’s, but they know how important education is and therefore multinational companies hire highly educated personels to manage various departments in the company. FInally it is worthy to note that the most outstanding part of the human brain is THINKING and without good and sound education, Values, Norms and quality in our society will wither away.

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