Ben Dunno, Warri
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has decried the alarming increase in cases of early deaths in the country, attributing it to growing rate of poverty, especially among the low and middle class income earners.
The former President made this observation in a keynote address delivered at the 2019 Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Oleh Diocese, Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State.
In an address entitled; “Mobilising Nigeria’s Human And Natural Resources For National Development And Stability”, Obasanjo noted that the nation has not fared well in improving the socio-economic status of the citizenry in the last three decades.
The former president who said he has reviewed the progress made in the area of ensuring improved standard of living of Nigerians masses right from independence, disclosed that rather than improve, the nation has continued to retrogress.
According to him, “In fact, on the life expectancy index published by the WHO, Nigeria placed 177 out of 183 countries and territories surveyed. This means that in the whole wide world, Nigeria is only better than six countries in terms of early death or short life span”
“In its 2018 edition published just last October, the UNDP was in a jubilant and triumphant mood in celebrating what it said was its 30 decades of progress in human development across the globe”.
“This is certainly cheering news for the global body whose efforts have led to such dramatic improvement in human development across the world”.
“It is also cheering news for the many nations and territories across the world whose governments harkened to the advice of the UNDP and adopted measures and policies that helped uplift the quality of life of their peoples”.
“While the rest of the world are celebrating this improvement in human happiness and human quality, it is appropriate to ask where Nigeria fits into this scale of advancement in human development”.
“My lord Bishop, distinguished audience, without having to belabour the issue, the summary of the state of human development in Nigeria over the past 30 years or even since independence in 1960 can be summarised by that CNN headline news of 26 June 2018.”