A recent global human development index report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) rated Gabon above Nigeria.
The United Nations Development Programme on Tuesday released its 2016 Global Human Development Index report, with Nigeria ranked low at 152nd out of the 188 countries surveyed.
The 2016 Human Development Report focuses on those communities that have been left behind, despite development progress over the last 25 years.
While Nigeria ranked 152 – the position it occupied last year, Gabon was placed at 109. Equatorial Guinea was 135 on the list, and Ghana and Zambia maintained 139.
The report placed Nigeria under “low human development” in its four levels of human development group.
The groups are very high human development, high human development, medium human development and low medium development.
The 2016 human development report focused on “communities that have been left behind, despite development progress over the last 25 years”.
An analysis of the report done by TheCable put Nigeria as the 17th most developed country in Africa, and 13th most developed country in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the report, countries under certain groups remain acutely disadvantaged. These groups include women and girls, rural communities, and persons with disabilities.
There were five categories of rankings based on the index. They were very high human development, which had about 51 countries with Norway, Australia, Switzerland and Germany occupying the top four spots, respectively.
There was also the high human development category, which had countries like Belarus, Oman, Barbados and Uruguay, among others.
The report listed Moldova, Botswana, Gabon and Paraguay as the medium human development countries, while countries like Swaziland, Syria, Angola and Nigeria were listed among low human development countries.
Ojijo Odhiambo, the economic adviser, Nigeria and ECOWAS, UNDP, said despite Nigeria’s 152nd ranking, the country recorded some improvement in the number of points that made up the index.
He said the reason why Nigeria retained its position was because as the country was making progress, other countries were also improving on their indices.
Odhiambo said between 2005 and 2015, Nigeria moved from a human development index of 0.466 to 0.527, adding that this was an increase of 13.1 per cent.
He, however, said there was a need for the country to redouble its effort in making sure that it addressed the factors that were impeding its improvement on the index.
Some of them are the issues of inequality, education, discrimination among women, promotion of social inclusion and accountability, as well as the upholding of human rights.
Odhiambo added that in sub-Saharan Africa alone, an estimated $95 billion was being lost annually to discrimination against women in the labour market.
He said there was a need for policy action by the government in addressing these issues.