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UNDP Ranks Nigeria 152nd in Human Development Index

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  • UNDP Ranks Nigeria 152nd in Human Development Index

The United Nations Development Programme on Tuesday released its 2016 Global Human Development Index report, with Nigeria ranked low at 152nd out of the 188 countries surveyed.

The 2016 Human Development Report focuses on those communities that have been left behind, despite development progress over the last 25 years.

It recognises that in most countries, certain groups remain acutely disadvantaged.

These groups, according to the report, include women and girls, rural communities, and persons with disabilities.

The report, which was released in Abuja, saw the country retaining its 152nd position, which it occupied last year, with a human development index of 0.527 out of the possible index figure of one.

There were five categories of rankings based on the index. They were very high human development, which had about 51 countries with Norway, Australia, Switzerland and Germany occupying the top four spots, respectively.

There was also the high human development category, which had countries like Belarus, Oman, Barbados and Uruguay, among others.

In the same vein, the report listed the medium human development countries as Moldova, Botswana, Gabon and Paraguay, among others, while countries like Swaziland, Syria, Angola and Nigeria were listed among low human development countries.

The Economic Adviser, Nigeria and ECOWAS, UNDP, Dr. Ojijo Odhiambo, said that despite Nigeria’s 152nd ranking, the country recorded some improvement in the number of points that made up the index.

He said the reason why Nigeria retained its position was because as the country was making progress, other countries were also improving on their indices.

For instance, Odhiambo said between 2005 and 2015, Nigeria moved from a human development index of 0.466 to 0.527, adding that this was an increase of 13.1 per cent.

He, however, stated that there was a need for the country to redouble its effort in making sure that it addressed the factors that were impeding its improvement on the index.

Some of them are the issue of inequality, education, discrimination among women, promotion of social inclusion and accountability, as well as the upholding of human rights.

Odhiambo added that in sub-Saharan Africa alone, the sum of $95bn was being lost annually to discrimination against women in the labour market.

He said there was a need for policy action by the government in addressing these issues, adding that more investments should be made in education, while pursuing inclusive growth.

The UNDP official also called for specific interventions for groups with special needs, while expenditure should be restructured to promote more opportunities for women and social inclusion.

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the government was mindful of the fact that it needed to do more to move the country from its current position.

She added that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, which was launched recently by President Muhammadu Buhari, had been designed to address some of the issues raised by the report.

Ahmed called on the UNDP to assist the government by coming up with innovative ideas that would help the country improve its ranking on the index.

She said the government was working on how to address the economic challenges facing the country and to implement policies and programmes that would promote human development.

This, she noted, was aimed at ensuring that no one was left behind.

The minister stated, “We will also strive to ensure that the disadvantaged communities receive the extra support they need. Government is striving to ensure that human development progress is more resilient to shocks, such as epidemics, economic challenges and conflicts.

“This is being done through the development and implementation of sound policies and through social investment programmes.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade long experience in the global financial market. Contact Samed on Twitter: @sameolukoya

Investment

Barclays Tell High Net Worth Investors to Shun Africa and Other Emerging Economies

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Barclays to High Net Worth Clients, Stay Off Africa and Other Emerging Economies

Barclays, one of the world’s largest investment banks, has started advising high net worth clients to stay off Africa and other emerging economies.

According to Barclays, despite the recent recovery noticed in emerging-market stocks, investors are better off avoiding the risks that still abound in emerging nations. Barclays Plc, however, advised high net worth clients to focus on U.S equities despite the S&P’s breakneck rally.

The investment bank said emerging economies do not have enough fiscal buffers to spend their way out of the COVID-19 pandemic and will likely continue to struggle in the near-time compared to the US with 12 percent of gross domestic product fiscal-support.

It said the huge US stimulus may halt rebound in emerging-markets stocks as more money is expected to flow into the world’s largest economy and its European counterparts.

“Compared to the U.S., emerging-market economies appear more vulnerable,” said Haider, the London-based managing director and head of global growth markets. “Their central banks have less room to maneuver, their governments may not be able to provide unlimited support and equity markets, given their sector mix, can be more challenged by an economic slowdown.”

Barclays added that even after 33 percent rebound in stocks of emerging markets since the panic selloff subsided in March, stocks are still down by 9 percent from year-to-date while the US S&P 500 stocks are up by 45 percent. Presently, their stocks trading at a 36 percent discount to US stocks, up from 25 percent three months ago.

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Economy

Crude Oil Rises to $43.1 Per Barrel on Production Cuts Extension

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  • Crude Oil Hits $43.1 Per Barrel Following OPEC’s Production Cuts Extension

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil price is measured, rose by 1.25 percent on Monday during the Asian trading session following OPEC and allies’ agreement to extend crude oil cuts to the end of July.

OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to extend production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day reached in April to July on Saturday.

In the virtual conference, delegates agreed that members, including Nigeria and Iraq presently struggling to attain a 100 percent compliance level must keep to the agreement or be forced to do so in subsequent months.

Nigeria, Iraq and others failed to keep to the cartel’s agreement in May after reports show that Nigeria only managed to attain a 19 percent compliance level during the month while Iraq struggled to attain just 38 percent in the same month.

Russia and Saudi Arabia, the two largest producers of the group, warned members to stick to the agreed quota if they want to rebalance the global oil market.

While the errant producers such as Iraq and Nigeria have vowed to reach 100% conformity and compensate for prior underperformance, we still think they will likely continue to have some commitment issues over the course of the summer,” said Helima Croft, head of global commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

The potential return of Libyan output could also cause considerable challenges for the OPEC leadership.

Earlier on Monday, Brent crude oil hits $43.1 per barrel, more than a month record-high, before pulling back slightly to $42.83 per barrel.

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Economy

Gold Dips by 2 Percent on Better Than Expected Job Report

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  • Gold Dips by 2 Percent on Better Than Expected Job Report

Gold prices declined by 2 percent on Friday following a better than expected US non-farm payroll report.

The report showed an increase of 2.5 million payroll numbers against a decline of 7.5 million predicted by many experts.

The surprise number boosted investors’ confidence in US recovery as many dumped their haven investment (gold) for the stock market.

“We had significantly stronger-than-expected U.S. payroll numbers – an increase of 2.5 million versus an expectation of a decline of 7.5 million – that 10-million swing has brought forward expectations of the economic recovery in the United States,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities.

Spot gold immediately declined by 1.9 percent per ounce to $1,678.81 while the U.S. gold futures slid 2.6 percent to settle at $1,683.

Gold was also being pressured by stronger yields and a slightly firmer dollar, “meaning the opportunity cost to hold gold in the portfolio has gone up,” Melek added.

The surprise didn’t stop there, US Dow Jones was up 614 points despite the protest going on the US and US-China tension.

Also, NASDAQ rose by 29 points while the S&P index added 50 points increase.

Note: Investors generally increase their investments in gold and other haven assets during a crisis to avert risk exposure and do the opposite once they sense a better economy.

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