Friday, May 13, 2016 9:35 pm
Ms Fatma Samoura, the Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme, and now the new FIFA secretary-general, has urged the Federal Government to improve human security in the country.
Samoura said the advice became necessary because the country’s current Human Development Index was low.
The resident representative stated this while presenting the 2016 National Human Development Report with the title: “Human Security and Human Development in Nigeria”.
She identified insecurity and economic lull as major factors affecting Nigeria’s human development index.
“This launch event is taking place at time of great challenges for this country.
“We have just witnessed an unprecedented delay, albeit for very valid reasons, in the finalisation of the budget and signing of the 2016 Appropriation Act.
“This, juxtaposed with rapid decline in government revenues from oil and gas, will undoubtedly negatively impact economic growth and development over the short-run period.
“There are also, evidently, increasing cases of abductions and intensified conflict between sedentary farmers and nomadic herdsmen in parts of the country.
“All these, without a doubt, pose great danger and exacerbate 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 which, admittedly, had been neglected over the decades.”
“Although the future holds great promise and early efforts of the new Government are beginning to bear fruit, the development path ahead will, clearly, not be an easy one.
“Stakeholders therefore, need to work together to ensure that the great promise of this nation – peace, unity and prosperity – is realised, not just for the present generation but also the future ones.”
Citing the Report, Samoura said in spite of the promising indicators of the Nigerian economy, human development remained low.
She said the Report would help re-focus the attention of the Federal Government and contribute to the evolution of a holistic approach to the challenge of human security.
“The report highlights, in sum, the fact that Nigeria’s score for human development is relatively low in spite of the promising indicators, particularly of the economic realm, in recent years.
“Much work therefore needs to be done to ensure that there is greater equity and progress not only across the realms of human security but across all gender groups and geo-political zones of the country.
“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.
“Above all, we hope that the recommendations made in this report will contribute to the evolution of a holistic approach to the challenge of human security.
“And the on-going process of national policy development and implementation and thereby lead to the great opportunities that the Nigerian nationhood has always held since independence.
“I remain highly optimistic that like other reports before it, this one will help re-focus attention of both the policy thinking and its attendant implementation realities on the most urgent national development question that afflicts Nigeria today – the question of security and development.’’