Nigeria is now 152nd in the world in the United Nations’ Human Development Index, according to a report presented by Edward Kallon of the United Nations Development Programme in Abuja, Nigeria on Tuesday. According to Kallon’s report, Nigeria’s Human Development Index has increased by 13.1 percent over the last ten years. According to the United Nations, the Human Development Index is a measurement of national wellbeing, and takes into account living incomes, life expectancy and access to information among other social indicators.
Analysts are glad to see that Nigeria has made so much improvement, but Kallon warned that these positive trends could easily be reversed if the country does not make an effort to counteract recent humanitarian challenges and economic recession. “We should utilise the opportunity provided by the national launch of this report to promote policy dialogue, at all levels of governance, to enrich on-going programmes aimed at implementing the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan,” Kallon said in his presentation. He also affirmed that the United Nations Development Programme would continue to work towards fighting poverty, inequality and exclusion in Nigeria.
The presentation also praised the progress that the African continent has made as a whole in these past two decades. “Most African countries have registered commendable progress in human development over the past two decades; narrowing the North-South divide in basic human development in the process. Global under five mortality rate was more than halved between 1990 and 2015, with the steepest decline being registered in sub-Sahara Africa, and extended life expectancy by some six years,” Kallon said of African progress in Human Development Index.
In West Africa, Nigeria is squarely in the middle of the index when compared to its neighbors. Below Nigeria was Cameroon in 153rd place and Zimbabwe in 154th place. Above Nigeria were Gabon in 109th place, Equatorial Guinea in 135th place, and Ghana and Zambia, which were tied for 139th place.