Anger As UN Rates Nigeria World’s 39th Unhappiest Country

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  • Finland, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Australia,  US, 14 Others rank Happiest Countries

The latest United Nations ranking of Nigeria as the 39th unhappiest nation in its 2020 World Happiness Report has provoked anger and disappointment among a cross section of Nigerians.

The UN report, which used  gathered field  data, and information to asses, analyze  and  rank  153 countries, was released on Friday, March 20.

The report which was released as part of the UN’s annual International Day of Happiness has not gone down with a cross section of Nigerians who feel that the data gathered, and used to arrive at the conclusion may be secondary data which should ordinarily be subjected to further examination and scrutiny by the global body.un

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Dr Peter Olufemi, a development economist in Lagos said “ it is shocking because not with-standing the economic situation, many Nigerians are happy going to parties, eating their local delicacies, etc and are seen being able to put up the most robust contentment. So I am not sure what the data are but coming from the UN, I can’t fault it. But in future, I would recommend that the hinterlands, the villages and rural areas should actually be a focal point of attention.”

Another commentator, a banker in Lagos, John Okorodudu said “if it is true, then he is shocked.” But he was quick to add that “the economic situation may have accounted for the lack of happiness among many.”

The UN report which ranked Finland as the world’s happiest nation for the third year running now placed Nigeria 115, placing above 38 other countries. The list of  African countries that were rated happier than Nigeria include  Morocco, Cameroon, Algeria, Senegal, Guinea, Niger, Gabon, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Mali, Ivory Coast, Benin, Congo and Ghana.

But, the UN ranked the country above Armenia, which was rated ranked 116, Georgia (117), Iran (118), Jordan (119), Mozambique (120), Kenya (121), Namibia (122), Ukraine (123), Liberia (124), Palestinian Territories (125), Uganda (126), Chad (127), Tunisia (128), Mauritania (129), Sri Lanka (130), Congo (Kinshasa) (131), Swaziland (132), Myanmar (133), Comoros (134), and Togo (135).

Others that Nigeria beat in ranking include Ethiopia, which placed 136, Madagascar (137), Egypt (138), Sierra Leone (139), Burundi (140), Zambia (141), Haiti (142), Lesotho (143), India (144), Malawi (145), Yemen (146), Botswana (147), Tanzania (148), Central African Republic (149), Rwanda (150), Zimbabwe (151), South Sudan (152), and Afghanistan (153).

The World Happiness Report is a yearly survey conducted  by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations, which examines the state of global happiness in countries across the world.

The  report says the data for this year’s World Happiness Report was collected between 2017 to 2019.  It said in part: “This year’s report focuses on the environment — social, urban and natural — and how these three categories affect happiness.”

According to the Report, the top 20 world’s happiest countries are:  Finland , Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, Austria, Luxembourg, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Israel, Costa Rica, Ireland, Germany, United States, Czech Republic, and Belgium.

The UN in its  report said the continent of  Africa is  the least urbanized globally, stressing it is “the only remaining continent where the rural population outnumbers the urban”.

It also projects that the population of Africa would double in 2050, with Lagos State, the commercial hub of Nigeria  projected  to grow  by 77 people per hour between 2020 and 2030.

The  report in part reads: “African countries will double in population by 2050 and more than 80% of that increase will occur in cities. Africa’s largest city, Lagos, Nigeria is predicted to expand by 77 people every hour between now and 2030.

“By 2025 there will be 100 African cities with more than one million inhabitants, twice as many as in Latin America. Already 70 per cent of Africans are under 30 years old, accounting for about
20 per cent of the population, 40 per cent of the workforce, and 60 per cent of the unemployed.

“It seems that Sub-Saharan Africa is not prepared for its urban expansion and many African governments are trying to limit rural-urban migration.”

(New Diplomat)

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