Acta Universitatis Danubius. Œconomica, Vol 14, No 4 (2018)

Human Capital Development: A Catalyst for Achieving SDGs in Nigeria

Adeyemi Olayiwola Babasanya, I.O. Oseni, Segun Subair Awode

Abstract


There is no gainsaying in the fact that one of the objectives of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to attain poverty hitch-free by 2030. However, the continuous increase in poverty level has generated a lot of debates among policymakers, scholars and economists while government have also been continuously formulating different policies to avert this ugly situation. Various studies have documented the contributions of human capital development to poverty alleviation in Nigeria with special reference to MDGs and their results might not be transmitted to achieving the SDGs in Nigeria. This study therefore addresses this issue. The paper examines the impact of human capital development on poverty alleviation in Nigeria over the last two and half decades (1990-2015). The results obtained shall be used to project into the future as to whether investments in human capital expenditure has potential to achieve the objectives of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The study adopts a log-linear regression model formulated sequentially from the Solow’s neo-classical growth theory and standard Cobb-Douglas production function. The prevalence of poverty rate as a percentage of total population was regressed on unemployment rate, real government expenditures on education and health. The result of the estimated model reveals that real government expenditure on education has a significant effect on the prevalence of poverty in Nigeria. However, real government expenditure on health and unemployment rate both have negative but insignificant inelastic effects on the prevalence of poverty rate in Nigeria during the period under review. On this basis, the paper therefore suggests that government should invest more in education and facilitate the integration of vocational training programmes and courses as part of academic curriculum in schools at all levels. Also, government should increase investment in the health sector to ensure improvement and access to quality health facilities in the country, if human capital investment should catalyze SDGs achievement.


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