By Dipo Olowookere
Lagos, Delta and River States have emerged the most competitive states in Nigeria in terms of economy, human capital, infrastructure and institutions.
The ranking was released on Wednesday by the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN) and was witnessed by former Governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke.
The competitiveness index ranked all the 36 states of the federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja across four key areas: Human Capital, Infrastructure, Economy and Institutions and it was the first ever National Competitiveness Report and Sub-National Index in the country.
Chief Executive of NCCN, Mr Chika Mordi, told newsmen at the unveiling of the survey that “Nigeria remains challenged in its competitiveness.
“We expect the SNI to have a catalytic effect in competitive state policies which will ultimately lead to greater business productivity, resulting in job creation and poverty reduction.”
In the index, Borno and Gombe States were ranked 36th and 37th respectively.
According to Mr Mordi, “The index is a culmination of 20 months of intense work. We have worked rigorously to ensure objectivity and transparency in our methodology data collection, analysis and interpretation.
“Where possible we applied effective tools for cross-validation, and ease of replicability. It is by no means perfect, but we envisage improvements with subsequent iterations of the index.”
He said Borno and Zamfara States lost significantly in the area of Human Capital – plagued by issues with healthcare and education.
According to the report, all of the states performed strongly in at least one of the four broad themes, and 23 indicators.
The new Sub-National Index presents a significant platform for research and discussion, elevating the national conversation about moving Nigeria away from crippling oil dependency, and embracing a diversified economy with sustainable market-based development.
The report also emphasizes the importance of competitiveness at the state level, highlighting local and state governance, and the vital role each state plays in the overall path to job-rich growth.
According to NCCN, data were collected for its unprecedented report in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and private surveying agencies.
The organisation conducted a household survey across all 36 states and the FCT, resulting in a sample of 8,147 households.
They also conducted a business climate survey, collecting information from two thousand (2000) private business establishments chosen at random, and using probability proportional to size (PPS) within each sector.
Out of this number, 1820 businesses responded to the survey, representing a 91 percent response rate.
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