Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 rated Nigeria as the WORST country to be born in out of all the countries analyzed. Nigeria occupies the 80th position of the 80 countries that were assessed. In the “Where-To-Be-Born Index” 2013, Nigeria has the lowest score 4.74 points, making the country stand at the 80th position. By this report, Switzerland is the best country to be born in with 8.22 points. United States of America and Germany occupy the 16th position with 7.38 points apiece.
South Africa is the best country to be born in on the African Continent standing in the 53rd position with 5.89 points while Algeria is second best country to be born in on the African Continent making the 54th position with 5.86 points. The EIU report is based on political and social stability, crime rates, access to quality healthcare services, the diversity and standard of cultural events and the natural environment, quality of education facilities, and the standard of infrastructure, including public transport. In September this year, the EIU conducted a research revealed Melbourne, Australia as the best City in the world for anyone to live in, followed by Vienna, Austria and Vancouver, Canada. Dakar, Bangladesh, lead the worst city to live in while City of Lagos ranked 138th of 140 cities, to earn the third city with the worst living conditions trailing Nairobi, Kenya (124), Lasaka, Zambia (126), Dakar, Senegal (129), Abidja, CoteD’voire (131) and Douala, Cameroon (133). However, as genuine as these two reports are, some Nigerians who bared their minds on these report through different radio-live-conversations, condemned these reports entirely. Some said the reports were politically motivated while others said it was calculated to damage the reputation of the country. Meanwhile, many Nigerians see the reports as the true reflection of the situation in the country. They pointed at the health sector and asked if Nigerians can say with sincerity of heart that health sector is functioning. For instance, if patient is rushed to either a public or private hospital under emergency, he will never be attended to if the initial deposit demanded by the hospital is not meant. Is this not dehumanising? In decent societies where life is more valuable than money, life would be saved before they talk about money. Nevertheless, in Nigeria, the reverse is the case as hospitals demand for money before they attend to patient in critical conditions. I have a living witness around me. There was a woman who was in labour and needed caesarean section but she was not attended to till she was able to raise the money the hospital demanded for operation. However, before she could raise the money for the operation, the baby had become tired and after the operation, the baby became deformed. The baby is now two years old but can neither sit nor stand on his feet. Stories like this abound across the country. If the health sector is good, why do our leaders patronise foreign hospitals? Let us beam our searchlight on the education sector. Can we say that the EIU report also lied against the education sector in Nigeria? If the education sector is functional, why do the children of our leaders and those of the rich attend foreign schools? Did the EIU also lie against the country about infrastructure and public transport? Do we have a national carrier? Do we have a national shipping line like other countries do? Thus, the reports of the EIU on Nigeria are unbiased and genuine. They are incisive reports about the state of things in the country. Our leaders should therefore study them carefully and make proper adjustment so that the citizens of this nation can heave a sigh of relief for once.