Tag SDGs: Why should Nigerians be happy by the way?
The 2016 World Happiness Report released on Wednesday, 16th of March, ranks Nigeria the 103rd happiest country in the world. This is sharp a decline from the country’s 78th position in 2015. The report was released in Rome, ahead of the United Nations (UN) World Happiness Day, which will take place on March 20.
An initiative of the UN, the World Happiness Report is a survey of global happiness as a criterion for government policy. To collate this report, experts in psychology, economics, health, public policy and statistics measure how the wellbeing of people can be used to assess the development of nations. Some of the factors considered in the collation of the WHR include social support, freedom to make life decisions, GDP per capita, life expectancy and the absence of corruption.
The report, which was compiled by Jeffery Sachs (a special advisor to Ban Ki-moon), made allusions to the wholeness of a happy country like Denmark (which is the happiest country in the world) being a function of the integration of other factors. “Sustainable development is a holistic approach to wellbeing that calls on societies to pursue economic, social, and environmental objectives in an integrated manner. When countries single-mindedly pursue individual objectives, such as economic development to the neglect of social and environmental objectives, the results can be highly adverse for human well-being, even dangerous for survival. Many countries, in recent years, have achieved economic growth at the cost of sharply rising inequality, entrenched social exclusion and grave damage to the natural environment.”
The observations listed above by the collators of the WHR seem to be apt in describing the state of Nigeria. The decline in the Global Happiness ranking should not come as a surprise because the country has not exactly been in a good place for about a year now. In recent times, it seems that economic development is getting all the attention from the leaders at the detriment of other equally important spheres of the economy. Nigerians can hardly smile due to the following life threatening situations they are consistently subjected to:
Regardless of what the Nigerian president says about defeating this deadly, ISIS-affliated terrorist group, every Nigerian knows that they are still very active. Their actions in northern Nigeria have turned some of the affected towns into shadows of their former glory.
The resultant effect of the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria is the internally displaced persons (IDPs). With over 2 million people displaced in the north of Nigeria, living in unbearable conditions with little or no access to quality health care, there is certainly no cause for joy in the country.
With the launch of the war against corruption by the current administration in Nigeria, it has been frustrating for Nigerians to see the huge amount of public funds that have been diverted by public officials for personal use. The more that is revealed, the angrier people get because these funds should have been used to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Nigeria.
Nigerian law/policy makers
Apart from being corrupt, Nigerian lawmakers have succeeded in making the National Assembly look like a joke; an institution that does not care about the welfare of its countrymen. These law makers come up with the most ludicrous bills that support inequality and other forms of social ills. Recently, Nigerians have expressed their dissatisfaction, surprise and shock over Senator Ali Ndume’s suggestion to endorse polygamy and the refutation of the equal rights bill.
Can happiness exist in a nation where exploitation, oppression and poverty thrive?
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