Latest report from the United Nations indicates that the Nigerian government has failed to improve the well-being of majority of its population despite gain in democratic transition.
The report which examined progress on multiple social development scored Nigeria below average in every aspect of the country’s surveyed Humanitarian Profile (HP) that includes health care, adult literacy, malnutrition, water and sanitation, maternal mortality and disaster management - floods and lead poisoning.
Coming on the heel of Nigeria’s crucial general election, the HP report shows that more than 90 millions Nigerians are “multidimensionally poor” - deprived of basic health, education and living standards.
The UNDP ranked Nigeria 142 out of 169 countries on the United nations Human development index.
On health, only 39 percent of the Nigerian population have access to improved sanitation facilities.
Breakdown in social infrastructure and health system, poor hygiene and lack of information were identified as major obstacles to the country’s health improvement.
In sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria’s humanitarian profile is scored worst than some notable countries in the following areas malnutrition (34.3% compare to Angola’s 29.0), maternal mortality (1100 deaths per 100,100 births compare to Namibia’s 220) and adult literacy (60.1% compared to South Africa’s 89.0).
Overall, life expectancy of an average Nigerian is now pegged around 48.4.
The UN fears that with the wave of insecurity and civil instability - fueled by sectarian violence - that have been recorded in past years, Nigeria “appears unlikely to reach the majority of its Millennium Development Goals.”
Analyzed data for the report were collected from 2003 - 2008.
Yemi Ifegbuyi is a senior editorialist and director of operations for SBG media, publisher of nigeriansbaroadlive.com. He is also a strategic communications consultant on politics and business development, with special interest in North-America, Asia and sub-Sahara Africa. Follow him on Twitter: @tweetyemi