FG Tasks States, LGs On Attainment Of SDGs’ Targets

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The Federal Government has charged the States, Local Governments and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), to intensify their efforts in the current drive by Nigeria to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the global community begins to accelerate the implementation of the Global Agenda in the Decade of Action for the Goals.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SSAP-SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, who made the call at the ongoing Advocacy Debate and Sensitisation Campaign, pointed out that as the global community continued to synergize efforts to attain the SDGs and with Nigeria facing various challenges, the need for all stakeholders, particularly States and Local Governments to show greater commitment to achieve the SDGs, had become imperative.

The Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the SSAP-SDGs, Desmond Utomwen, quoted Orelope-Adefulire, as saying that despite the commitment and efforts as a country, Nigeria is faced with issues and challenges in the desire to achieve the SDGs.

She disclosed that partly due to the shocks classified as Triple Crisis – COVID, Climate Change, and Conflicts, the implementation of the SDGs globally remained off-track as only 15% of the SDGs targets are on track as of 2023.

The SSAP-SDGs further clarified: “In Nigeria, the Multidimensional Poverty Index Report (2022) shows that about 63 percent or 133 million Nigerians are multi-dimensionally poor. The report shows that poverty levels vary significantly across the states and the geopolitical zones.

“Specifically, multidimensional poverty is higher in rural areas, where 72 percent of people are poor, compared to 42 percent in urban areas. Overall, the report revealed that 65 percent of poor people live in the North, while 35 percent live in the South.

“Relatedly, the National Bureau of Statistics’ Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey Report (2022) shows that the Under-5 mortality rate, which represents SDG 3.2.1, is 102 per 1,000 live births – with Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, and Jigawa recording the highest, and FCT, Benue, Kwara, and Ebonyi States recording the lowest.

“On SDG 4, quality education among children and adolescents aged 7-14 years, only about 27 percent have foundational reading skills, and 25 percent have foundational numeracy skills. This translates to a low out-of-school rate found in Ekiti State at (2%) and Imo (1%), while the highest rates are found in Kebbi (65%) and Zamfara and Bauchi States both at 61%,” she added.

Orelope-Adefulire maintained that the Federal Government had demonstrated strong commitment towards the implementation of the SDGs and required the sub-national governments to complement the Federal Government’s efforts, particularly as they remained the tiers of government closest to the people.

She explained that institutional frameworks had been established at the national and sub-national levels to guarantee effective implementation of the SDGs.

Orelope-Adefulire expatiated:  “The SDGs require a whole-of-society approach and clearly cannot be achieved with stand-alone policies and projects. They must be carefully integrated into national and sub-national policies and development plans.

“As we approach the 2030 deadline, we must recommit to accelerating the implementation of the SDGs, especially at the state and Local Governments level. As part of the transformative actions needed to deliver on the SDGs, we need the expertise and resources of the public and private sectors, the UN Development System, development partners and the donor community, academia, civil society, and concerned citizens in support of the SDGs”,  she added.

In his remarks at the forum, Ondo State Governor, Mr. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, said the SDGs  remained a blueprint for a better future for all in addressing global challenges like poverty, inequality, climate change, and environmental degradation.

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