Abuja, 13 May 2016 – “Insecurity remains an ever-present threat to peace and development of the country … and, without a doubt, poses great danger and exacerbates an already fragile economic development landscape as the country grapples with the reality of shifting from over-reliance on oil and gas sector to other sectors,” stated Fatma Samoura, UNDP Nigeria Resident Representative at the launch of the 2016 National Human Development Report in Abuja earlier today.
A statement issued by UNDP Nigeria in Abuja stated that the launch ceremony was officiated by Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister, Budget and National Planning, and attended by Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Nigeria.
Ms. Samoura stated that the report highlights the link between human security and human development with a proposition that there can be no human development without human security and that, perhaps, insecurity in the country, as in many parts of the region, is a mirror image of the persistent development deficit.
The report under the theme “Human Security and Human Development” makes a compelling case that unchecked poverty; persistent hunger; uncontrolled diseases; lack of access to basic services; disregard for human rights; sub-optimal response to natural and man-made disasters; unregulated natural resources exploitation and use – among others, pose serious threats to human development today.
The statement further stated that the report also highlightes the existing gap in human security across the geo-political zones of the country; – the most human security secure geo-political zone is the South-East while the North-West and the North-East geopolitical zones are the least human security secured, with residents of the Federal Capital Territory being the worst in most realms of the Human Security Index. The North-East region of the country has been the most affected by the more than 5 yearlong military insurgency. It also remains among the least developed parts of the country.
Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, commended UNDP for the effort in putting together detailed findings of the human development indices for Nigeria. He noted, with great satisfaction, that the report adopted a broader and more holistic view of the issue of human security and its linkage to human development. “From the report, it is clear that human security in Nigeria is mainly constrained by threats of economic access, high unemployment rates, and low perception of job security. Thus, individual choice of sufficient and predictable income ought to be guaranteed. Senator Udoma Udo Udoma stated.
The Minister further noted that the findings contained in the report “lay a strong foundation for not only addressing poverty, reducing unemployment and inequalities, but also rebuilding communities and regions that have been adversely affected by insecurity”. “The Nigerian Government and indeed the current administration is not surprised at the findings of the studies reported in this document.” The Minister stated.
Despite a robust economic growth of about seven percent between 2010 and 2014, a large proportion of Nigerians still live in poverty and are exposed to various vulnerabilities. An estimated 61.3 percent of Nigerians are classified as poor with 48.8 percent of them classified as multi-dimensionally poor.
“We are very much optimistic that effective implementation of our change agenda will make more resources available to address areas of critical needs to improve human security and human development indices.” Senator Udoma Udo Udoma stated.
Not only does the report conclude that the status of human development in Nigeria has not shown remarkable improvement in spite of the changes in the social and economic conditions in recent years, it further states that that economic growth in Nigeria has not been associated with poverty reduction and unemployment has not declined. A situation that has consequently slowed down the rate of improvement in human development as evidenced by marginal improvement in HDI between 2012 and 2013.
Among the recommendations made by the report include addressing social security through the establishment and support to institutions and initiatives that help individuals with low levels of human security; including the access of the lowest-income groups to food and of low-income groups to various forms of social security.
“We consider the report a timely intervention that should stimulate the robust application of human security framework in the human development approach at national, state and local levels.” Stated Fatma as she concluded her statement.