Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch, has on Friday, emerged as 118, on the latest World’s Happiest Countries ranking, learnt.
The supposed Giant of Africa ranked below 17 countries from the continent, with Libya ranking number 1 in Africa at 86 on the log, South Africa (91), Gambia (93) Algeria (96), Liberia (97), Congo (99), Morocco (100), Mozambique (101), and Cameroon (102).
Others ahead of Nigeria are: Senegal (103), Niger (104), Gabon (106), Guinea (109), Ghana (111), Burkina Faso (113), Benin (115), Comoros (116), and Uganda (117).
Nigeria at 118, however, ranked above Kenya (119), Tunisia (120), Mali (123), Namibia (124), Madagascar (128), Egypt (129), and Chad (130).
Meanwhile, Finland was named the World’s Happiest Country for the 5th year running, in the annual UN-sponsored index that again ranked Afghanistan as the Unhappiest country in the world, followed closely by Lebanon.
Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania, recorded the biggest boosts in wellbeing. The largest falls in the World Happiness table came in Lebanon, Venezuela, and Afghanistan.
Lebanon, which is facing an economic meltdown, fell to second from last on the index of 146 nations, just below Zimbabwe.
War-traumatised Afghanistan, already bottom of the table, has seen its humanitarian crisis deepen since the Taliban took power again last August.
UN Agency, UNICEF, estimates that 1 million children under 5 could die of hunger this winter, if not aided.
“This (index) presents a stark reminder of the material and immaterial damage that war does to its many victims”, co-Author, Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, said.
The World Happiness Report, now in its 10th year, is based on people’s own assessment of their happiness, as well as economic and social data.
It assigns a happiness score on a scale of zero to 10, based on an average of data over a 3-year period. This latest edition was completed before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Northern Europeans once again dominated the top spots, with the Danes 2nd behind the Finns, followed by the Icelandic, the Swiss, and the Dutch.
The United States rose 3 places to 16th, 1 ahead of Britain, while France climbed to 20th, its highest ranking yet.
As well as a personal sense of wellbeing, based on Gallup polls in each country, the happiness score takes account of GDP, social support, personal freedom, and levels of corruption.
This year, the Authors also used data from the social media to compare people’s emotions before and after the Covid-19 pandemic. They found “strong increases in anxiety and sadness” in 18 countries, but a fall in feelings of anger.
Report co-Author, Jeffrey Sachs, wrote: “The lesson of the World Happiness Report over the years is that social support, generosity to one another, and honesty in government are crucial for wellbeing.
“World Leaders should take heed.”