Don, Sam Goddorms, has advised the Federal Government to earmark more funds for health, education and vigorously pursue its economic reforms to shore up its rating in world happiest countries index.
Mr Goddorms, who teaches Political Economics at the University of Jos, gave advice in an interview with newsmen on Friday in Lagos.
He said that Nigeria’s budgetary allocations for education in 2017 and 2018 had not been more than 7 percent instead of the 26 percent recommended by UNESCO.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that Nigeria ranked 91 out 156 countries in World’s Happiest Countries Survey carried out by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network for 2018.
The World Happiness Report is an annual publication of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network which contains rankings of national happiness and analysis of the data from various perspectives.
Finland came first as the world’s happiest country while Burundi came last on the index.
He said that most emerging economies would find it difficult to be in the top 10 because their budgetary allocations for education had been far below United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) standard.
Goddorms said that with such low allocation, it would be difficult for the country to rank within 30 in the world happiest countries index.
According to him, this is because happiness is measured by things such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.
“However, in Nigeria most of the scores used to measure the rating are not there now and that is telling on the peoples’ standard of living.
“In fact, more students are fast getting out of school in some parts of the country due to insecurity challenges,” he said.
He also urged the government to vote more funds for the health sector.
“The government should address the country’s medical tourism. The National Health Insurance Scheme should be adequately funded to incorporate more Nigerians, particularly those in the hinterland.
“Government should fix many of the infrastructure deficits militating against the health sector and resolve the high number of medical doctors exiting the country for greener pastures.
“The ongoing economic reform should be sustained to bring governance closer to the people.
“There is need to implement the Value Added Tax (VAT) regime for luxury items to the latter so that the government can have funds to meet its obligations.
“The government N-power project should absolve more Nigerians in the rural areas to create wealth,” he said.
He added that healthy life expectancy and social freedom would not be easy to come by if adequate steps were not taken to address the issues raised.