The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has said that the ongoing reforms in education and health sectors would put Edo in the league of the best performing states in subsequent human Development Indices of the United Nations Development Programme.
Obaseki gave the assurance in Benin City, the Edo State capital, following the release of the UNDP HDI Report 2018, on Friday, using year 2016 performance in: Access to decent living; access to knowledge and health.
Edo State was ranked 12th by the UNDP 2016 Report with a value of 0.5299, followed by Imo, Osun, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ondo, Anambra, Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Oyo, Ebonyi, Adamawa, Kaduna, Gombe, Niger, Kebbi, Jigawa and Kano states.
The top performers, according to the report, are Lagos, the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Ekiti states.
Obaseki said: “The National Human Development Index released by the United Nations Development Programme which placed Edo State in the 12th position, is an eye opener but our target is to be the best-performing state using the criteria set by the UNDP.
“It is instructive to mention that the performances used were those of 2016 and we have since scaled up our activities in education and health sectors to earn us the top spot. We are ready to unveil 7000 digital primary school teachers soon, to transform the way teaching is conducted in our basic education sector.
“We have commenced the construction of primary health centres across the state to take healthcare to the door steps of our people, no matter how remote their locations are.”
The governor added: “It is our hope that all these efforts would be captured in subsequent UNDP Human Development Indices to reflect Edo State’s current standing among the comity of states in the country.”
According to media analysis of the report, with a value of 0.6515, Lagos outperformed all the other states. It also retained the title as it had placed first in the 2013 HDI with a value of 0.6716.
“The FCT ranked second with a value of 0.6289. It jumped six places as it had placed seventh in the 2013 HDI, with a value of 0.5112.
“With a value of 0.5909, Bayelsa placed third, stepping a place down from the second place it occupied in 2013, with a value of 0.621.
“Akwa Ibom ranked fourth with a value of 0.5641. The state retained its placement as it had also occupied the fourth position in the previous index, with a value of 0.5698.
“Ekiti, occupying the fifth position with a value 0.5608, was one of the highest performers in terms of ranking, as it moved 11 places by jumping from the 16th position it occupied in 2013 to the fifth in the latest ranking.
“Sokoto, Katsina, Bauchi, Yobe and Zamfara states are at the bottom of the National Human Development Index, according to the National Human Development Report 2018 released by the United Nations Development Programme.”
The UNDP explained that HDI represents a geometric average of normalised indices for each of the three dimensions of health, knowledge and standard of living.