The recent report by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) shows that Nigeria’s Human Development Index (HDI) value rose very marginally from 0.530 in 2016 to 0.532 in 20171. However, overall, the ranking remained unchanged at 157th position out of 189 sample countries – putting the nation in the low human development category, and below Ghana, Kenya and a few other sub-Saharan countries. The HDI criteria which are broadly inclusive of countries’ social, political and economic diversity and indicative of the quality of life, may have shown limited progress in Nigeria due to rising population2 (currently, the population stands at 190.1 million). In the population growth and absence of the political will to address the sub-optimal HDI, signalled by the historic low budget share allocated to the education and health sectors, significant improvements in the HDI is not foreseeable in the near future.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
Inflation rate continued its upward trajectory in the week under review. Specifically, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 1.39 per cent, from 11.38 per cent in February to 12.77 per cent in March, 20161. Remarkably, this is the highest rate since July 2012, representing a 4-year high. While both components of the CPI rose in the period, the food sub-index was largely the main driver of the increase in the CPI, with a growth rate of 1.39 per cent between February and March. The persistent scarcity in petroleum products, especially Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), has increased transportation costs and the price of food items.