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SDGs: Insight into decade of action in Nigeria

By Omotunde Ojugbele

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. The UN created 17 world Sustainble Development Goals (SDGs) which seeks to provide ”peace and prosperity for people and the planet.”

With less than six years to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) terminus, the need for an insight into how Nigeria has been able to implement SDGs, an immediate successor of Milledium Development Goals (MDG’s) since 2015.

The SDGs aim to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, making sure all people particularly the children, have sufficient and nutritious food all the year. This involves promoting sustainable agricultural, supporting small-scale framers and equal access to land, technology and markets.

Nigeria’s 2020 Voluntary National Review (VNR) on SDGs focuses on the key issues of poverty (SDG-1), health and wellbeing (SDG-3), education (SDG-4), gender equality (SDG-5), inclusive economy (SDG-8), and the enabling environment of peace and security (SDG-16), and partnerships (SDGs-17).

This focus is based on Nigeria’s development priorities as of tht time and the development objectives of the government of the time led by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

This VNR was developed when the nation was facing hugechallenge s from the COVID-19 pandemic testing Nigeria’s public health system, and of the collapse in oil prices, for an economy still getting almost 90% of public revenue from oil and gas.

Since the adoption of the SDGs in September 2015, up till the moment, Nigeria has continued to demonstrate its commitment to achieving the global goals through leadership and ownership of implementation process.

However, judging by the ‘commitment to the SDGs ‘ which has become a song that every top government officials in Nigeria sings, including the whoping billions of naira already sunk into SDGs programmes, the SDG-3, health and wellbeing activities continue to record poor health outcome, such as high rate of maternal mortality rates in the country. Though, checks showed there there have been improvements in the under-five mortality rates (from157 to 132.).

The major challenge confronting Nigeria on SDG-4 (Education) is the issue of millions of out-of-school children, a demography that relates to an interplay between SDG-4 (education) SDG-8 (employment), SDG-1 (poverty), and the SDG-17 (digital economy).

As it stands today, on education (SDG-4, only 1.6% of the nation’s GDP is devoted to education. The authorities needs to increase the resources towards providing quality education.

Nigeria need to improve on and prioritize universal access to clean water and soap. Nigerians current access to basic drinking water stabds at 64%, according to High- Level Political Forum on Sustainable Environment.

The Forum opined that there must be more investment in public health and to ensure the most vulnerable are reached through universal access to essential services.
Admittedly, good strides have been made in the domestication process of the SDGs in Nigeria. First, there is an ongoing realignment of the National Statistical System (NSS) with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs.

Also, Nigeria has developed its home-grown Integrated Sustainable Development Goals (ISDG Model), an analytical framework for acessing how policy making can better address the indivisible nature of the SDGs.

In addition, the Nigeria’s 2020 VNR report has drawn on past evaluation of the country’s performance in the SDG-3 and SDG-4.

This attempt to systematically use evaluation is an innovation in the VNR context. As it is, Nigeria should strengthen the evidence based planning and accountability mechanisms at State level for accelerating the SDG decade of action.


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