The advanced world conducts all manners of research, most times to confirm a pre-determined belief or mindset. Worse still, there are hardly global monitors to validate either the process or the outcome of such researches.
One of such researches has been conducted with Nigeria as one of the countries focused on. And the result, expectedly, is a damning verdict on Nigeria.
The country is known for many things, some good and admittedly, some bad. In recent times, there have been a number of research reports completed by international organisations and the results have not been favourable to Nigeria.
In October 2012, the African Insurance Organisation ranked Nigeria as the "Kidnap-for-Ransom Capital of the World," accounting for 25 per cent of global kidnappings. Somalia, which had been in the business of sea piracy and kidnappings long before Nigeria joined the 'league', has long been overtaken by Nigeria according to the rating. In June 2012, the Global Peace Index ranked Nigeria as the sixth most dangerous African country to live in.
Each time such results are released, it is usually followed by debates on various online platforms with many questioning the authenticity of the results.
Yesterday, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a sister company of The Economist magazine, released results of its 2013 Where-to-be-born Index. This time, Nigeria is ranked as No. 80 out of the 80 countries assessed, making it the worst country to be born in among the countries analysed. Put differently, Nigeria is the least or even the last place the sampled respondents would want to be born.
In the "Where-To-Be-Born Index" 2013, Nigeria has the lowest score of 4.74 points, placing her at the 80th position. The index ranks Switzerland as the best country to be born in with 8.22 points. The United States and Germany tie in the 16th position with 7.38 points.
Despite their strong economies, none of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) scores impressively. Among the African countries on the list, South Africa, which was ranked 53 on the list, comes first with 5.89 points followed by Algeria in the 54th position and with 5.86 points.
Nigeria is the worst place for a baby to enter the world in 2013, says the survey.
According to the EIU, the research "earnestly attempts to measure which country will provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life in the years ahead".
Its quality-of-life index links the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys-how happy people say they are-to objective determinants of the quality of life across countries. Being rich helps more than anything else, but it is not all that counts; things like crime, trust in public institutions and the health of family life matter too.
In all, the index takes 11 statistically significant indicators into account. They are a mixed bunch: some are fixed factors, such as geography; others change only very slowly over time (demography, many social and cultural characteristics); and some factors depend on policies and the state of the world economy. All things considered, the socio-economic condition of a country helps to determine how satisfied or hopeful a people can be.
While the validity of the research may be a subject of intense debate among stakeholders, many believe they should serve as wake-up calls for the nation's leaders. Those who so believe argue that while the ratings may not be accurate readings of the Nigerian polity, they indeed serve as rough projections of the feelings of the Nigerians.