THE IMPACT OF HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT ON THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF AKWA IBOM STATE, NIGERIA (Published)
Human capital development is an indispensable component of the development process. It is a development strategy aimed at fulfilling the potentials of people by enlarging their capabilities which necessarily implies the empowerment of the people, and enabling them to participate actively in their own development. It also serve a means through which the skills, knowledge, productivity and inventiveness of people are enhanced. This study therefore, examined the impact of human capital development and economic empowerment in the socio-economic development in Akwa Ibom State. The study adopted a historical and descriptive approach in data collection. The study therefore revealed that from 1999 to 2012, the government being the foremost driver of the economy has made a positive impact on the training and retraining of workers in the public sector. This has made the public sector more vibrant, efficient and result-oriented. The study also revealed that aside from training, the government also embarked on elaborate empowerment programme which has helped so many to become self-employed as well as employer of labour. The study further revealed that government failed to give priority need in their training programme to the critical areas in the state namely oil and gas for effective participation of this sector by the Akwa Ibomites. On the strength of this, the study recommended among others that government should embark on extensive training of domestic engineers in the areas of oil and gas in the state. Also government should encourage individuals and private sector to increase investment in human capital and economic empowerment in the state.