Presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili has reacted to the World Bank report which ranked Nigeria 152nd out 157 countries captured in its maiden Human Development Index (HDI).
According to media reports, the President of the global organization, Dr. Jim Yong Kim urged Nigeria and other African countries to invest massively in education and rely less on handouts.
“This is a very loud message to Africa. Africa needs to invest massively in education. The message here is that Heads of State and Ministers of Finance have to take responsibility,” Kim said at the on-going World Bank Annual Meetings in Bali, Indonesia.
“There is so much waiting for the grants to come. We wait and the activists will help us to tell the donors ‘we need more money, we need more money’. What happens is that in many African countries, if they don’t receive grant, they simply don’t spend on health and education. So we hope that this is a loud wake-up call for the African countries and especially, Nigeria.”
In her reaction, Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education and Solid Minerals said the report is a true reflection of Africa and a sad commentary on the dire situation Nigeria finds itself as a result of protracted bad leadership.
“This is a failure of leadership on the part of this government led by President Muhammadu Buhari. And this failure is, as I keep saying, urgently unsustainable,” Ezekwesili said. “Nigeria has no business being in the lower rungs of the Human Capital Development index, the report is simply the result of a leadership that does not value its citizens enough to empower them holistically.”
“With my experience advising some of the most reform-minded governments on our continent, and building economies across Africa, it becomes even more heartbreaking to see the basic steps we must take to revamp our economy, to revamp human capital investment and to move forward on these crucial indicators. This failure has to end.”
Ezekwesili who is a former Vice President of the World Bank for Africa, has Human Capital Development as one of the cardinal points (oby2019.com) of her campaign.