“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 recently.
During the launch ceremony 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 report further highlights 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-year long military insurgency. It also remains among the least developed parts of the country.
Speaking during the launch, 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.” Udoma stated.
The minister 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 Minister stated. He further announced that as part of the measures government is taking to improve the quality of life of Nigerians, N500bn has been allocated as Victims Support Fund and Special Intervention Fund.
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.
“As you know, our 2016 Federal Government Budget of Changes aims principally at reflating and repositioning the Nigerian economy and addressing the challenges that have placed millions of Nigerians in positions of lack, deprivation and low human security levels.”