The United Nations on Tuesday commended the Federal Government for its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) launched recently in Abuja.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, made the commendation in Abuja on Tuesday at the launch of UNDP 2016 Human Development Report (HDR).
Kallon expressed optimism that Nigeria had what was needed to surmount her challenges and pledged the support of the world body in this regard.
He said that plans with its several medium-term policies and programmes were capable of keeping Nigeria on a positive development trajectory.
According to him, this is because the ERGP focuses on restoring growth, investing in people and building a globally competitive economy.
The UNDP boss also expressed satisfaction on the feat recorded by Nigeria in the Human Development Index (HDI) where it garnered 13.1 percent increase between 2005 and 2015.
He called for tougher policies to enable the country to sustain gains made in human development.
Kallon said that insecurity and the drop in prices of export commodities which were major earners in sub-Saharan Africa were fast eroding the gains.
He said that Nigeria was faced with two major problems of economic recession and humanitarian crisis.
“We are all aware of the humanitarian crisis in the North-East of the country and the looming famine in that region although efforts by humanitarian development actors, under the leadership of government, have yielded significant results.
“Many challenges remain as an estimated 8.5 million people in that region are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
“And, some 50,000 children are at ‘IPC level 5’ of food insecurity. The need for action, especially for the children, couldn’t be more urgent,” he said.
The envoy advised the government to utilise the opportunity provided by the launch of the UN report to address the twin problems of economic recession and humanitarian crisis in the country.
According to him, the nation should utilise the opportunity provided by the report to promote policy dialogue at national and sub-national levels.
He called on Nigeria to as a matter of urgency find a lasting solution to the challenges in order to bring enduring development in the country.
“The report shows that between 2005 and 2015, Nigeria’s HDI increased from 0.466 to 0.527, a 13.1 percent increase.
“This is encouraging, but given the humanitarian challenges already alluded to, and economic recession witnessed in 2016, there is urgent need to design policies and programmes to ensure that upward trend in human development is not reversed.”