Chika Mordi
Chief Executive Officer of the NCCN, Mr. Chika Mordi
  •  Delta, Rivers, Sokoto, Akwa Ibom rated top states

Kunle Aderinokun

Ahead of the launch of its first Sub-National Competitiveness Index report sunday, the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN) has released its ranking of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory in the areas of human capital, infrastructure, economy and institutions.

In a snapshot obtained by THISDAY, NCCN, which launched the Sub-National Competitiveness Index last Thursday, considered education, health, migration and gender equality in ranking the states and FCT in human capital.

Similarly, the council also assessed the states on infrastructure using metrics that measured the status, efficiency and performance levels, as the case may be, of their electricity, airport, telecoms, waste management and water.

Besides, NCCN, which noted that the index was ‘the culmination of a two-year research into the factors that drive competitiveness in Nigeria’s 36 states and the FCT’, looked at access to finance, state finances, business sophistication and tax to measure the status of their economies. It, as well, measured the strength of institutions in the states considering security, transparency, justice and anti-corruption, amongst others.

NCCN rated Lagos the best state on the Sub-National Index Overall Ranking table, followed by Delta, which was also trailed by Rivers in the third place. Niger State and Enugu State ranked fourth and fifth on the index table, which was occupied at the bottom by Borno State. Gombe, Yobe, Kwara and Imo followed Borno in that order to make the last five states on the ladder.

Considering the economy, Lagos was also ranked top by the council and was followed by Rivers. Sokoto, Kebbi and Enugu placed third, fourth and fifth states in that order. The worst-performing economies were in Bayelsa, Nasarawa, Ekiti, Imo and Osun states in that order.

In terms of infrastructure, Rivers came top, followed by Lagos and Akwa Ibom. On the fourth and fifth places were Edo and Delta states. The worst states were Nasarawa, Zamfara, Taraba, Yobe and Katsina.

NCCN has said its first Sub-National Competitive Index was “a move to help spur growth-friendly policies.” The index, it noted, evaluated the competitiveness of Nigeria’s 36 states and FCT through metrics that examine growth, development and productivity potential.

According to NCCN Chief Executive Officer, Matthias Chika Mordi, “The NCCN Sub-National Index is a potent tool for catalysing business-friendly policies that will spur job-rich growth in Nigeria’s 36 states.”
“The findings of NCCN Sub-National Index underscore the salience of state governments in Nigeria’s overall economic growth potential,” Mordi added.

The council had explained in a statement that the NCCN’s index drew from resources of the World Economic Forum, World Bank, Mexico’s IMCO and HBS’s Prof Michael Porter.

It also stated that it received funding from Ford Foundation, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, and resource support from the EU Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility (EUEI PDF) to drive initiatives targeted at fiscal balance, healthy public-private policy contestation and unleashing private enterprise potential.

“Nigeria faces a well-documented overdependence on oil for fiscal revenue that has stifled incentives for private sector growth and remains insufficient for sustainable poverty reduction,” NCCN stated.

“Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of today’s context is Nigeria’s rising youth population, which is an unutilised demographic window of opportunity that is fast turning to a ticking demographic bomb in the form of a massive army of unemployed youths. 62.27 per cent of the population is under the age of 25, Countries such as the US, China, Japan, and South Korea achieved economic growth and poverty reduction by exploiting a similar demographic window of opportunity,” it lamented.

The council added: “While national data is widely known, state performance remains obscured by a previous lack of reliable data. Over 50 per cent of revenue from Nigeria’s federation account is controlled by state and local governments, especially when you account for derivations and bailouts from federal to state governments.
“Beyond that, the majority policies affecting businesses are controlled by states. NCCN is a non-partisan private effort aimed at enhancing the productivity of businesses operating in Nigeria with the ultimate goal of improved socio-economic outcomes for Nigeria.”