2009/9 National Human Development Report for Nigeria by UNDP launched


Lots of highly skilled people are payed lots of money to produce lots of important information in reports, presentations etc that should drive our national development.

In the past these reports have not been accessible to you. That is about to change. Nigeria Health Watch is working on a portal to make all the UNAIDS, DFID, WHO, UNDP etc etc reports relevant to the health of Nigerians available to you via an internet portal, searchable and accessible to anyone with internet access. When possible we will commission a short summary. Its your country! You have a right to know!

Thanks to Felix Obi – find below  summary of the REPORT OF LAUNCH OF THE UNDP NATIONAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT (NHDR) FOR NIGERIA 2008-2009.

Date: Monday, 7th December 2009

Venue: Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja

The NHDR is one of UNDP’s contributions to Nigeria’s developmental efforts as the report provides empirical and evidence based data on the state of socioeconomic issues in Nigeria, which would assist policy makers and other stakeholders in designing and implementing policies that impact on the population. A few years back, UNDP developed the Niger Delta Human Development Report; a region-specific document that discussed the complex nature of the Niger Delta conflict and proffered solutions on how to tackle the crisis in the area.

The 2008-2009 edition of the NHDR is aimed at providing the Government of Nigeria, a useful document that will help in the development and implementation of the Vision 20:2020 and the 7-Point Agenda. This NHDR tries to evaluate Nigeria’s economic development since the government-led reforms which has improved Nigeria’s economic ranking from a Low to a Medium Income Country especially with the growth in the financial and telecommunications industry.

The data set used for the report includes the following;

– National Living Standard Survey (2004)
– General Household Survey (2007)
– Core Welfare Indicator Questionnaire Survey (2006)
– MDGs Midpoint Assessment Report (2008)
– Life Expectancy Ratio Measurement (2008/9)
– Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (2008)

The 2008-2009 NHDR has as its theme “achieving growth with equity” ; a concept which refers to economic growth that enables the largest number of people, especially the less advantaged and poor, to participate in wealth creation activities so they can benefit proportionately from the increased availability of public and private resources. Essentially growth with equity enshrines the principle of fairness in the distribution of economic opportunities and rewards within a society. Through growth with equity, the reduction in poverty and inequality is expected to happen through the availability of more productive and stable jobs, improved health and literacy, higher income levels among the population through which a higher level of human development can be attained.

Highlights of the Findings

1. Nigeria’s macroeconomic performance has improved markedly since the early 2000s as the gross domestic product (GDP) has averaged about 6% in the last 7yrs based on the expansion of the non-oil sectors like the banking, insurance, telecoms, IT and other service-oriented sectors. However, the output of the manufacturing and real sector has declined progressively over the past decade.

2. Between 1990 and 2007, Nigeria’s score on the human development index (HDI) improved rising from 0.452 to 0.511, helping the country move up from low to middle human development category. However, Nigeria’s HDI is lower among its peers (Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, Malaysia and Indonesia) and the rate of improvement in HDI is much slower in Nigeria than among its peers.

3. The proportion of Nigerians categorized as poor rose from 27.2% in 1980 to 65.6% in 1996 but declined to 54.4% in 2004. This implies that though there was an improvement between 1996 and 2004, the proportion of Nigerians who are poor today is twice the proportion in 1980.

4. Nigeria has the highest levels of income inequality in the world, with a score of 0.43 (out of 1) for the period of 1985 to 2004 as measured by the Gini coefficient.

5. And within Nigeria, there are wide variations in poverty, inequality and human development across the states and geopolitical zones. Inequality is highest in the FCT (0.64) followed by a group of 10 states with a score of 0.5 or above, with 3 states (Abia, Adamawa, and Akwa Ibom) with the lowest inequality score. As for HDI, among the top 10 states, 8 are in the south, and among the lowest 10 states, 9 are in the north.

6. The rate of growth in employment is not keeping pace with the economic growth and expansion of a young labor force from 2000 -2007. The manufacturing sector has the lowest, and the major expansion in jobs has been the services sector.

7. There is absence of real structural transformation in the economy since Nigeria’s production has remained focused on agriculture and oil and gas which account for over 70% of the GDP, whereas the manufacturing sector contributes less than 6% of the GDP.

8. The social indicators have remained poor despite improvements over the last decade which has impacted significantly on the productivity and quality of life of the citizens, especially the majority poor. There has been low coverage of basic health services, basic education, weakness of vocational training, and exceptionally high rates of maternal, infant and child mortality in the country generally.

Recommendations of the NHDR

To achieve the Vision 20:2020, the NHDR emphasizes the need for discipline, consistency and continuity in the setting of priorities and policies over a sufficiently long period of time if Nigeria is to become a strong economy in the coming years. Three key recommendations have been proposed for the Government of Nigeria.

1. Create an environment for high levels of investment and growth through the following strategies:

• Improve access to and the quality of physical infrastructure, most notably power, roads, ports and railway. In addition, put a specific emphasis on improvements in rural areas and in linking rural and urban markets

• Pursue spending efficiency and effectiveness. While Nigeria’s resources are limited, they are still considerable compared to other low income countries (LICs) and least developed countries (LDCs) with similar large populations. A key task is to reduce corruption through fiscal responsibility and other reforms aimed at improving physical infrastructure, agriculture and social services.

• Maintain macroeconomic stability to avoid return to boom and burst conditions

• Deal with key institutional issues which are at the heart of any effort to make government more effective and accountable such as building capacity of public sector workers, improve coordination at all tiers and sectors of government, and provision of information to the citizens and civil society.

• Strengthen financial sector intermediation to provide better support for real sector including the access to credit, technology and useful information to the poor.

2. Make growth pro-poor and inclusive through:

• The promotion of human capital development by focusing and spending more public resources on essential social services (basic education, primary health care and nutrition, safe water and sanitation), and boosting vocational education in response to the felt needs of the labour market.

• Provis
ion of safety nets for the extreme poor and the vulnerable against economic shock/crises arising from government policies through such schemes like targeted cash transfers, fee waivers, school lunch programmes, low cost housing, nutritional programmes fir pregnant and nursing mothers etc.

• Scaling up investments in the rural areas to make them economically viable through rural infrastructural development etc and fostering linkages between agricultural and non-agricultural activities, and building skills for off-farm employment.

3. Achieve effective multi-tier cooperation in government; and it is only the active commitment and engagement of the three tiers of government through coherence, transparency and effectiveness in spending of public resources.

What has this got to with health? – Well…WHAT are the determinants of health? What are they?


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (www.epiafric.com), which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

Discussion3 Comments

  1. What has this got to with health? – Well…WHAT are the determinants of health? What are they? Excellent questions, we should perhaps start at the beginning. American statistician, WE Deming once wrote, “There is no substitute for knowledge.” This statement emphasizes the need to know more, about everything in the system. It is considered as a contrast to the old statement, “There is no substitute for hard work” by Thomas Alva Edison (1847–1931). Instead, a small amount of knowledge could save many hours of hard work.” Nigeria is work in progress and will remain so until we begin to record, well, EVERYTHING!

  2. Thanks. May we know the ten specific states with the best and worst HDI, best and worst poverty levels, and best and worst inequality levels. God job.

  3. Thanks. May we know the ten specific states with the best and worst HDI, best and worst poverty levels, and best and worst inequality levels. God job

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