Surveyors seek human capacity development in Nigeria


TO ensure faster development, stakeholders last week called on all level of governments to embark on massive human capacity development, saying that is the way to attainment all round growth.

They spoke in Lagos during the 10th annual Adekunle Kukoyi Memorial Lecture, organised by the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS), held at the Sheraton Hotel& Towers.

 Guest lecturer at the event was Professor Paulina Adebusoye, while Chairman, was retired Supreme Court Judge, Mr. George Oguntade, and Dr. Michael Omolayole, was the Special Guest of Honour, among other personalities revealed the legacy of late Adekunle kukoyi and the principles he stood for while he was alive.,

   In her lecture, the Guest Lecturer, Professor Paulina Makinwa Adebusoye, in her lecture titled: “Improving Human Capital in a Competitive World”, the theme of the annual event, listed what she described as the “12 pillars of global competition”. These are institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, and health and primary education.

Others include higher education and training; goods market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation, among others.

According to the Professor, despite the importance of the 12 pillars of competitiveness for all countries, the relative importance of each depends on a country’s stage of development.

  She observed that Nigeria, as well as majority of African countries and other least developed countries worldwide are in the first stage of development. “These are factor-driven economies whose ability to compete successfully in the global market and to move the next level that is of the efficiency-driven economies, that depends more importantly on good performance on specific pillars”, pointed out four pillars. These include institution, appropriate infrastructure, macroeconomic framework and good public health and primary education.

   Adebusoye stated that against the backdrop of Nigeria’s sustained economic growth in recent years and the imperative to maintain this growth trajectory in order to attain the second stage of development, the global competitiveness index (GCI) serves as a useful diagnostic tool. “It determines how Nigeria is faring in the four pillars that will ensure a high level of productivity and keep the country growing quickly.

Lamenting the position of Nigeria, she said the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) global competitiveness report (GCR) for the period 2014-2015 released by Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), ranking last September, rated Nigeria 127th of the 144 countries assessed.

“Unfortunately, Nigeria has consistently ranked among the lowest performing nations on the GCI, with this latest ranking that shows Nigeria dropping for the third consecutive year.

“Another dimension of Nigeria’s poor ranking is revealed when it is compared with rankings of countries that are referred to as the ‘largest emerging economies’. Nigeria’s consistently low rank among the lowest performing nations world-wide together with its situation among the emerging economies indicate that efforts are required across many areas to place the country on a firmly sustainable growth and development path”.

On the impact of Nigeria population, Professor Adebusoye stated that with population currently stands at over 160 million people, with possibility of being among the four most populous nation by the end of this century, there is need for effective planning.

She posited that while large population is good for creating a large market of consumers, the fact that over half of the population is dependent requiring large resources to provide education and health care and employment might be of great concern.

“The central question posed for present and future development planner is this: ‘Given the anticipated population growth with the current growth rate, will Nigeria be able to extend coverage and improve the quality of health and educational systems so that everyone can, at least, have the chance to secure adequate health care and basic education?’” she queried.

However, she stated that it is wrong for anyone to have the notion that population structure alone is the villain, saying that there is need to bear in mind several other aspects of global competitiveness that need attention.

These are infrastructure such as railway, road, electricity, higher education beyond primary level ability to use new technologies and innovate, as well as good governance that is intolerable of corruption”. 

  Speaking on the position of surveying vis-a-vis National planning policies, the NIS National President, Bern Omo-Akhigbe, though, agreed on its strategic importance in national development, especially, in citing institutions and buildings in general, he however, lamented that survey, as a profession “is highly a misunderstood one”.

Omo-Akhigbe specifically frowned at the professionals who immediately they found themselves in government employment, usually desecrate the noble profession, either by their acts or their utterances.

According to him, it is wrong for government to be meddling in the affairs of the institution, especially, when it comes to the issues such as the composition of its council members.

  The NIS President, who recently appealed to President Jonathan to reconstitute the Surveyors’ Council, noted that a list of membership of the council is already before the president, stressing that the move would “help stem the desire of overzealous civil servants attempting to constitute itself into illegal council”.

Akhigbe, who made veiled reference to the ongoing skirmishes between the NIS and the Surveyors Council of Nigeria (SURCON) on one hand and the involvement of the Surveyor–General of the Federation on the other, described the actions taken by the Registrar of SURCON as totally unacceptable and against the spirit and provisions of the law setting up SURCON, vowed that NIS will not fold its arms and condone illegalities and assault on the profession of surveying. 

  “Apart from behaviours of some of the practitioners in government, other areas that we are working is to weed out quacks in the profession; helping the younger practitioners to grow and to continue to sentisise students in the secondary schools to show more interest in the survey profession”. 

Earlier, the Lagos Chapter of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, Mr. Hassan Elias, described Adekunle Kukoyi Memorial lecture as remarkable, especially, as this is the 10th in the series of the lecture. 

  Going back to history, Elias, represented by the Acting Chairman of the NIS, Mr. Gbemga Alara, said the first lecture was delivered in the same hall on January 23, 2006, the exact date late Surv. AdekunleKukoyi would have turned77. 

“That lecture, aptly titled: “The Man Kukoyi and His Principles” was delivered by Dr. Michael Omolayole, a very close friend of Baba kukoyi since their University College, Ibadan (UCI) days in 1948. For today’s lecture’s topic: “ Improving Human Capital in a Competitive World”, no nation is an Island. We live in a competitive, global village. With the collection of resources all the knowledge, talents, talents, skills, abilities, experience, intelligence, training, judgment and wisdom possessed individual and collectively by individuals in our population, I am convinced that we could accomplish the goals of being a great nation and a great people”.

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