Abimbola Akosile with agency reports
One of the world’s largest human resources (HR) consultancy firms, Mercer has released its Quality of Living Index, which listed Lagos and Abuja among the 33 cities with the worst quality of life in the world.
According to a report in the Independent, UK, Mercer made a list of 230 countries and Business Insider took a look at the bottom 33 in the world.
Every year Mercer releases its Quality of Living Index, which looks at the cities that provide the best quality of life. Business Insider has already looked at the 27 cities with the best quality of life and also the 17 European cities that are deemed the most unsafe. This new index looked at the worst cities.
While Lagos was ranked number 20 among the 33 countries identified in this index, Abuja was jointly ranked number 19 alongside Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania was ranked as number 33 while Baghdad, Iraq was ranked as number 1.
The ranking seemingly does not reflect the various strides made by the current Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, to curb crime, ensure adequate housing and ease transportation difficulties in the metropolis, both in continuation of the projects initiated by the previous administrations and in other new projects.
Of the 33 identified cities 20 of them are found in African countries, namely Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania (33); Luanda in Angola (32); Lome in Togo (27); Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire (25); Addis Ababa in Ethiopia (24); Harare in Zimbabwe (22); Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso (16); Tripoli in Libya (15); Niamey in Niger (14); and Antananarivo in Madagascar (13).
Others were Bamako in Mali (12); Nouakchott in Mauritania (11); Conakry in Guinea Republic (10); Kinshasa in Democratic Republic of Congo (9); Brazzaville in Congo (8); N’Djamena in Chad (6); Khartoum in Sudan, and Bangui in Central African Republic (2).
The other 13 cities in countries outside Africa include Lahore in Pakistan (joint 32); Yangon in Myanmar (30); Karachi in Pakistan (29); Tehran in Iran (28); Tashkent in Uzbekistan (26); Ashgabat in Turkmenistan (23); Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan (21); Dushanbe in Tajikistan (joint 19); Dhaka in Bangladesh (17); Damascus in Syria (7); Port Au Prince in Haiti (4); Sana’a in Yemen (3), and Baghdad in Iraq (1).
According to Mercer, the ranking is one of the most comprehensive of its kind and is carried out annually to help multinational companies and other employers to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments.
Looking at 450 cities across the world, Mercer took into account the following metrics to judge which cities made the list for the best quality of life — which therefore shows what it feels are the best and worst.
These include political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement); economic environment (currency-exchange regulations, banking services); socio-cultural environment (media availability and censorship, limitations on personal freedom); medical and health considerations (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution); schools and education (standards and availability of international schools).
Others are public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transportation, traffic congestion); recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure); consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars); housing (rental housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services); and natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters).
For Lagos in Nigeria which was ranked 20, the index said “The country’s largest city battles environmental threats, such as riptides, annually. Citizens are also under continual threats to their personal safety, including the kidnapping of students and murder”.
Abuja, also in Nigeria, which was jointly ranked 19, had the following explanation: The city, like Lagos, suffers from high crime rates from inter-communal violence. The British Foreign Office tells travellers: “You could get kidnapped or find yourself caught up in a terrorist or other violent incident.”
For Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania which was ranked 33, the index noted: The largest city in the country is rife with crime. Britain’s government says on its foreign travel website: “British tourists have been kidnapped, robbed and forced with the threat of violence to withdraw cash from ATMs and arrange cash transfers up to £5,000 through Western Union after being befriended by strangers or using unlicensed taxis. Walk as far away from the road as possible.”
For Bangui in Central African Republic, which was ranked 2, the index noted that “The capital city is incredibly poor and many citizens rely on aid for survival. On top of that, violent sectarian clashes erupt regularly in the area.”
While for Baghdad in Iraq, which was ranked 1, the index noted that “The capital city has suffered severe infrastructural damage from several wars and continual on the ground violence. It continues to face threats from ISIS.”