By James, Michael Igiri
The Human Development Index (HDI) for 2016 has put Nigeria 152 position
among the 193 United Nations (UN) member states in the latest ranking released
by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The country is followed
closely by Cameroon and Zimbabwe which both occupied 153 and 154 positions
The report places Nigeria below neighouring Ghana, which ranked 139, Gabon
(109), Zambia also in 139 and Equatorial Guinea (135). The report, however,
showed a positive outlook for the country as it shows that it recorded 13.1%
increase in human development in the last 10years under review (2005-2015).
The HDI is a composite statistic of life expectancy, education, and per capita
income indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers of human
development. The global report was officially launched March 25, in Stockholm,
while the Nigeria version was launched yesterday.
According to the report, Norway tops the list as the number one country on the
HDI list, and is closely followed by Switzerland and Australia, which came joint
second; Germany is on the fourth position and Denmark, number five.
Speaking at the public presentation of the report in Abuja yesterday, UNDP
Resident Representative, Mr. Edward Kallan, called for an urgent action by
Nigerian government to sustain the gain.
“The report shows that between 2005 and 2015, Nigeria HDI increased from 0.466
to 0.527- a 13.1% increase. This is encouraging, but given the humanitarian
challenges already alluded to, and the economic recession witnessed in 2016, there
is an urgent need to design policies and programmes to ensure that the upward
trend in human development is not reversed.
“As the 2014 HDR aptly noted success is not automatic and gains are not
necessarily permanent,” he said.
He further noted that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) recently
launched by the Federal Government outlined several medium-term policies and
programmes that could keep Nigeria on a positive development trajectory.
Minister of state, Budget and National Planning Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, in her
remarks, said the launch of the report was timely; she, however, warned that the
severity of the crisis in the Northeast is capable of reversing the gains, if not