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UN – Nigeria lacks behind in executing SDGs

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By Usman Oladimeji

Nigeria's SDG's slow progress has to be accelerated by more proactive action.

Talking about countries’ proactiveness in attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Nigeria has been identified as lagging behind in executing plans towards reaching the SDGs, as stated by Matthias Schmale, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarians Coordinator. Schmale made this statement at a roundtable discussion with Nigeria’s political party leaders on the SDGs’ prospects in the country. Therefore, he strongly recommends that all political parties include a commitment to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their respective frameworks.

Schmale pointed out that the slow progress Nigeria has achieved toward reaching SDG targets has to be accelerated by more proactive actions on the part of the government. As a result of the many transformational efforts that have been agreed upon, he added, we should expect to see a shift toward faster development that will build upon past accomplishments. Discussion at the round table concentrated on pinpointing the top obstacles impeding Nigeria from achieving the SDGs and learning which political parties have made them a priority.

Parties’ representatives claimed SDGs drive the preponderance of their plans.

Only Seven of the Eighteen political parties were represented in the round table discussion, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), African Action Congress (AAC), Young Progressives Party (YPP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), African Democratic Congress (ADC), People’s Redemption Party (PRP), Boot Party (BP), and National Rescue Movement (NRM). Representatives from several parties claimed that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) drive the preponderance of their plans. Meanwhile, Agape Kramen, Head of Department, Foreign Chapter, PDP, emphasized the party’s commitment to tackling poverty, poor education, and rising youth participation in politics in Nigeria.

The proposed actions are commensurate with SDGs 1, 4, and 5. According to Kramen, Nigeria is a developing nation that has undergone system adjustments that have mostly failed. He reaffirmed, however, that the PDP is prepared to execute measures that correspond with every SDG objective, such as expanding access to basic healthcare and education throughout all of Nigeria’s local government areas and ending the country’s crippling poverty rate. Women’s empowerment is also a focus, with this section aiming to instill in them a healthy right sense of value.

It is encouraging that political parties are taking the SDG earnestly.

National Secretary of YPP Vidiyeno Bamaiyi has said that the party is prepared to cooperate on SDG 13, Climate Action. He claims that the YPP is one of the political parties that has given climate change issues a top priority and has provided thorough coverage of the issue. In addition, the YPP has been the only major political party to attend recent conferences on climate change. Moreover, he promised that if his party were elected, it would take action to combat climate change.

Furthermore, the UN Resident Coordinator also noted that the roundtable was a productive discourse that would benefit the country’s political parties in addition to the UN. He considered that it is encouraging that many political parties are taking the Sustainable Development Goals earnestly. The objective must be embraced, and it is most effective when reflected in parties’ manifestos not only in Nigeria but everywhere else. As a result of this effort toward inclusivity, every person in Nigeria would benefit greatly, he added.

Nigeria needs a more efficient way to generate funds.

With the parties’ claims to be on the course of achieving SDGs and boosting the economy, Schmale said this would eventually lift a number of Nigerians out of poverty. Therefore, he recommended that the political parties put their attention on increasing investments and reorganizing the economy. Schmale pointed out that although Nigeria is a rich nation, it requires a more efficient way to generate funds for governmental objectives. It’s also important to consider how this fund is currently being utilized and whether or not its influence may be magnified.

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