World Bank Ranks Nigeria 152 Out of 157 Countries in Human Capital Index

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Enterprise Television – World Bank Ranks Nigeria 152 Out of 157 Countries in Human Capital Index

Nigeria has been ranked 152 out of 157 countries in the first-ever Human Capital Index released by the World Bank Group.

Unveiling the report on Thursday at the ongoing annual meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Bali, Jim Yong Kim, World Bank president, said educational outcomes from Nigeria are too poor.

“Nigeria, unfortunately, ranks 152 out of 157 countries. We provide quite a bit of support for Nigeria in terms of the health budget. But we feel that the overall spending on health is far too low, 0.76% of GDP. And also the educational outcomes in Nigeria are very poor,” he said.

“Many African countries are in the red zone. I think that the World Bank has to take some responsibility for having emphasized hard infrastructure, roads, rails, energy, for a long time.

“And you know, that changed about 20 years ago. But there has still been the bias that says ‘You know, we’ll invest in hard infrastructure and then when we grow rich, we’ll have enough money to invest in health and education’.

“We’re now saying that that’s really the wrong approach, that you’ve got to start investing in your people right now.”

The World Bank boss urged African leaders to take responsibility for investing more in health and education.

“What’s happened is in many African countries if they don’t receive grant-based financing they simply don’t spend on health and education,” he said.

The World Bank Group has ranked Nigeria 152 out of a total of 157 countries surveyed in its Human Capital Index (HCI) that was unveiled on Thursday.

The HCI measures the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by age 18, given the risks of poor health and education that prevail in the country where he or she lives. The Index measures each country’s distance to the frontier of complete education and full health for a child born today.

The President of the multilateral institution, Mr. Jim Yong Kim, while responding to a THISDAY question during a media briefing at the ongoing IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Bali, Indonesia, said it was unfortunate that Nigeria was ranked 152 in the HCI.

He explained: “Nigeria unfortunately ranks 152 out of 157 countries. We provide quite a bit of support to Nigeria in terms of the health budget. But we feel that the overall spending on health in just far too low at 0.76 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Also, the educational outcomes in Nigeria are very poor.”

He described human capital as a key driver of sustainable, inclusive economic growth, saying investing in health and education has not got the attention it deserves.

“This index creates a direct line between improving outcomes in health and education, productivity, and economic growth. I hope that it drives countries to take urgent action and invest more – and more effectively – in their people.

“The bar is rising for everyone,” Kim added. “Building human capital is critical for all countries, at all income levels, to compete in the economy of the future.”