Nigerian state sees country’s first ‘happiness minister’

Source:AFP Published: 2017/12/6 19:48:40

It has been ranked among the happiest places in the world despite widespread unrest, political crisis and recession. Now one Nigerian state has a minister in charge of contentment.

The commissioner for happiness and couples' fulfillment is the brainchild of Rochas Okorocha, governor of the southeastern state of Imo.

Okorocha, who was previously widely criticized for using public funds to erect statues of prominent African leaders, on Monday appointed his sister to the post.

Ogechi Ololo now takes up the first such portfolio in Nigeria. She previously served as Okorocha's deputy chief of staff and special adviser on domestic matters, in charge of Christmas decorations.

The governor's spokesman, Sam Onwuemeodo, could not provide exact details of Ololo's responsibilities when contacted by AFP Tuesday, but said, "There is nothing unusual about the appointment." He "wants to always make the people happy. That's why he has created a ministry for that purpose."

The remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is known for measuring its success by Gross National Happiness rather than Gross Domestic Product.

Criteria taken into account include psychological well-being, health, education, vitality in the community and the living standards enjoyed by the population.


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