The event which attracted the upper echelon of the Nigerian military, including the Chief of Defence Staff and all the Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police in Nigeria and others took place at the National Defence College, the apex military institution in Nigeria which provides strategic level training for senior officers of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Para-military agencies and relevant MDAs as well as senior military officers from friendly countries within and outside Africa.
Prof. Magnus Kpakol, Chairman and CEO of the Economic Growth and Development Center (EGDC) spoke on the topic Building a Resilient Economy in the Contemporary Security Environment: Strategic Options for Nigeria. Prof. Kpakol’s message was essentially on the role of human capital in building instantaneous and dynamic resilience for the Nigerian economy in the contemporary security environment. In his discussion, he described Economic Resilience as the ability of a country to withstand a shock and recover quickly to potential after it falls into recession. In identifying the types of economic resilience he described Instantaneous economic resilience as the ability to limit production losses as a result of a certain amount of asset losses or damage; while explaining that Dynamic resilience is an attempt to recover asset and production losses.
According to Prof. Magnus Democracy without human capital development is like a horse without a rider racing fast into an open market. Sudden destruction is certain and Nigeria must be concerned about things that are toxic within the economy.
Prof. Magnus said that while it was important to watch out for what could affect the nation from the outside, it was important to understand and be careful of things that happen within the economy.
He said that issues of currency devaluation and removal of fuel subsidy should be handled carefully to avoid creating more problems. He further emphasized the danger in removing fuel subsidy at this time. He opined that the poor could be targeted for fuel subsidy because not everyone needs the fuel subsidy. On devaluation, he said that a massive devaluation may be catastrophic to the economy, as the country does not produce much. Production is at the base of strong currencies.
“Overall, I think that Nigeria is a very well blessed country, we have over 200 million people, the sixth largest country in the world, in terms of population, that means great potential for human capital stock.
“With that number of people, I think that there is nothing we cannot do as a nation to be globally competitive.
“I think we should pay more attention to our endowments, and then be able to train our people to use these endowments in order to be able to build resilience,” he said.