While Nigeria is still struggling to wriggle herself out of recession, four countries are on the verge of bidding goodbye to the ashes of under-development.

The four countries are: Bhutan, Kiribati, Sao Tome and Principe and the Solomon Islands, according to Jose Ocampo, chair of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP).

Ocampo said the countries had increased national earning power and improved access to health care and education, making them eligible to exit the group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

“This is an historic occasion,” Ocampo, said, noting that only five countries had graduated since the UN established the LDC category in 1971.

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LDCs are assessed using three criteria: health and education targets; economic vulnerability; and gross national income per capita.

Countries must meet two of the three criteria at two consecutive triennial reviews of the CDP to be considered for graduation.

The Committee would send its recommendations to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for endorsement, which would then refer its decision to the UN General Assembly.

A member of CDP, Diane Elson, who's a professor at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom, said the announcement is good news for millions of women in rural areas.

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