GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State yesterday, expressed surprise that the socio-economic indices in the country have remained gloomy despite 15 years of unbroken democratic rule.
The governor made the observation at the 55th Founders’ Day lecture of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) with the theme: “Legislation as an instrument for social justice in a growing economy.”
Buttressing his point, Ugwuanyi said: “The country is currently struggling with high unemployment rate, which surged from 3.8 per cent in 2002 to about 19.7 per cent in 2008, and now stands at 23.9 per cent in 2011,” adding that some had even projected it to have hit 40 per cent in 2014.
He pointed out that lack of employment was one of the contributory factors to poverty and inequality of income in the country.
His words: “The poverty situation is further reinforced by the high level of inequality. The Gini Coefficient for Nigeria in 2007 was 0.48, placing the country among those with the highest inequality levels in the world. The level of inequality is highest in the North Central with Gini Coefficient of 0.49 closely followed by the South West with 0.48, North West 0.42, South-South 0.41 and South- East with 0.38. There is also a very disturbing spatial divergence in the GDP per capita in the country, with South-South zone having an average of US$3,617.4, followed by North-West, US$1,898.9; North- Central, US$1,320.3; South-West, US$ 1,309.9; North-East, US$ 343.3 and South-East, US$ 297.2.”
Culled from: sunnewsonline.com