Southeast governors have boycotted Anambra State Governor Prof Chukwuma Soludo’s regional summit on human capital development.
The governors of Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo sent representatives to the two-day summit in Awka, the capital of Anambra State.
Soludo bemoaned the region’s leaders’ lack of unity, saying it was detrimental to the Southeast’s prosperity.
He called for the formation of a regional education board to develop a curriculum for the region.
The governor also said that the Southeast could come together and set up a teacher certification institute to certify teachers for schools in the region.
It was his reaction to recommendations and policy documents unveiled by technocrats during the conference.
In the area of education, labour and health, he said they could be adopted by the governors of the region to grow human capital.
He maintained that the Southeast could not afford to lag in the area of human capital development, adding that Anambra had the least land mass in the country, and also the least natural resources.
Soludo said: “Your recommendations are excellent. I will read them with keen interest and see which of them we can take.
“We have little land mass in the Southeast. We are actually the smallest with Lagos State, but while Lagos is reclaiming land from the sea, we are losing our land to gully erosion.
“Anambra is the world’s gully erosion capital. In the Southeast, we are landlocked, and we have the least mineral resources. Our only boost is human capital.
“Human capital naturally is our only dependable resource. It has been so yesterday and today and will remain so tomorrow.
He described the conference as “pivotal to who we are.
“And if we do not mind about human resources, then we are going nowhere. We must work on that.
“I listened to your recommendations on education, but who said the Southeast cannot set up a regional education board to fashion out a curriculum for students in the region?
“Must we always use what others are using? Who knows, you may fashion out a curriculum that will attract the interest of other people, and the world at large.
“The various governments of the Southeast can come together and set up a teacher certification institute to certify teachers for schools in the region too.”
Soludo lamented that in the past some governments of the Southeast sent home some workers, on the ground that they were not from their state. He added that Anambra had reversed that policy.
“We just recruited 5,000 teachers in Anambra State, but I told the ministry not to accept if I recommend anybody to them. We employed people from every state.
“All I need is for the best teachers to be employed. Our children deserve the best teachers, and all they hope to get is the very best, no matter where the teachers come from.
“In my own eyes, I don’t see those boundaries and for the greatness of Nigeria, we must not see those boundaries,” he said.
The conference had the theme: changing the narrative – towards entrenching human capital development in the Southeast Nigeria.