Metro

December 4, 2022

Health, education separate rich countries from poor ones, says Obi


By John Alechenu, Abuja

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, has said what makes the difference between rich and poor countries remains in their investments in education and health sectors of their economy.

He noted that Nigeria’s rating of 163 out of 191 on the global Human Development Index was unacceptable.

This, he pledged to reverse if elected President next year.

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Obi said this while responding to questions on the Arise TV Presidential Town Hall Meeting, on Sunday.

He said, “The difference between rich and poor nations is in their investments in health and education.

“Investments in these key sectors make the difference.”

Obi had, in his presentation, quoted the United Nations Human Development Index as saying Nigeria ranks 163 out of 191 countries on life expectancy and other indices of descent living.

His claim was fact-checked and found to be accurate.

Obi also expressed his desire to form a government of national unity to kick start the process of uniting Nigeria which, he noted, is currently divided in many ways than at any time in Nigeria’s modern history.

The UN report

The UN report ranked Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, 163rd in the United Nations (UN) Human Development Index (HDI) for the second consecutive year, a new report by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in 2022.

The HDI, published annually by the UNDP since 1990, measures the long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and a decent standard of living of 191 countries.

According to the report, in terms of the HDI score, Nigeria remained unchanged with 0.535.

Its life expectancy reached 52.7 years in 2021, the expected years of schooling was 10.1, the mean years of schooling was 7.2 and the country’s income per capita hit $4,790 in 2021.

The report cited the Boko Haram insurgency, which had led to devastating effects on their mental well-being and human development at large.

It stated that, “In Nigeria, the insurgency has contributed to major mental distress, including severe emotional disorders, psychological distress, psychotic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.”