Tuesday, April 18, 2017 11:42 pm
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in a report on Tuesday said that Nigeria’s Human Development Index (HDI) had increased by 13.1 per cent between 2005 and 2015.
At the launch of UNDP Human Development Report (HDR) 2016 in Abuja, the UNDP Resident Representative, Mr Edward Kallon said the achievement was before the recession.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 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
Kallon expressed satisfaction with the feat recorded by the nation within the spate of 10 years and called for an urgent action by the government to sustain the gain.
“The report shows that between 2005 and 2015, Nigeria’s HDI increased from 0.466 to 0.527, this translates to a 13.1 per cent 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 Human Development Report aptly noted, success is not automatic and gains are not necessarily permanent.
‘’In this regard, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) recently launched by the Government outlined several medium-term policies and programmes that could keep Nigeria on a positive development trajectory,” he said.
He pledged UNDP’s commitment to support both the Federal and State Governments in implementing programmes to address the simultaneous eradication of poverty and significant reduction of inequalities and exclusion in Nigeria.
Kallon said that the reports would continue to shape policy interventions and public debate around many development issues affecting millions of people in the country.
“In this regard, the economic growth is necessary but not sufficient condition for human development; it is possible to achieve high levels of human development even with modest levels of growth.
“What matters is the source and spread of growth; and how growth is managed and distributed for the benefit of everyone,” he said.
Kallon said that addressing the twin problems of economic recession and humanitarian crisis facing the country called for tough policy choices.
“We should utilise the opportunity provided by the national launch of this report to promote policy dialogue at both national and sub-national levels.
“(This will) enrich programmes aimed at implementing the ERGP and Growth Plan, the SDGs and AU’s Agenda 2063 to ensure that human development is realised for everyone and that no one is left behind,” he said.
Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed in her remarks, said the launch of the report was timely.
Ahmed said the report provided an independent and data-based analysis of why certain groups tended to be more disadvantaged and highlights the persistent barriers to achieving sustainable human development for all.
She said it also came on the heels of the recently launched Nigeria’s ERGP which would define the country’s economic trajectory for the next four years by ensuring sustained, inclusive and diversified growth.
According to her, the report came as Nigeria works to actively implement programmes aimed at meeting the Sustainable Development Goals at the Federal and State levels.
“Government is working proactively to address the current economic challenges facing the Nation and to implement policies and programmes that promote human development and to ensure that no Nigerian is left behind.
“We will also strive to ensure that the disadvantaged communities receive the extra support they need.
“This includes those living in conflict areas, especially women and girls and also people living in rural communities.
“The government is striving to ensure that human development progress is more resilient to shocks such as endemics, economic challenges and also conflicts.
“This is being done through the development and implementation of sound policies and through social investment programmes.
“I wish to challenge the UNDP, and indeed the UN system, to work with us to come up with measures to domesticate and actualise the recommendations in this particular report.”