FG Tasks States, LGs On Accelerating The SDGs

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The Federal Government has called on State, Local Governments and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), to double their efforts in the quest to attain Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the global community seeks to accelerate the implementation of the Global Agenda in the Decade of Action for the Goals.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, (SSAP-SDGs) Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, who made the call at the ongoing Advocacy and Sensitisation campaign in Kano and Ondo States, said that with the global community lagging behind in the efforts to attain the SDGs and with Nigeria facing various challenges, the need for all stakeholders, particularly State and Local Governments, to accelerate progress has become more imperative.

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

Orelope-Adefulire noted that, partly due to the now Triple C Crisis – COVID, Climate Change, and Conflicts, the implementation is off-track globally, and only 15 percent of the SDGs targets are on track as of 2023.

She further said; “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 said.

The SSAP-SDGs also said that the Federal Government has demonstrated strong commitment towards the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria and required the sub-national governments to match the efforts, particularly as the tier of government closest to the people.

Orelope-Adefulire noted that institutional frameworks have been established at the national and sub-national levels to guarantee effective implementation of the SDGs.

According to her; “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 said.

In his remarks, Governor Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State, said the Sustainable Development Goals are a blueprint for a better future for all, addressing global challenges like poverty, inequality, climate change, and environmental degradation.

He said that Ondo State is uniquely naturally endowed and positioned to achieve these goals of the SDGs, adding that the State is blessed with abundant natural resources, a vibrant population, and a rich cultural heritage.

Aiyedatiwa said; “I am confident that through seamless collaboration and innovation, we can make significant progress towards achieving the SDGs at the sub-national level.

“On our part, the Ondo State Government is committed to playing its part in achieving the SDGs. We recognize the importance of these goals and are actively working to integrate them into our policies. Together, let us build a future that is sustainable, equitable, and prosperous for all”.

Similarly, Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Hon. Shehu Shegagi, assured that the state is committed to delivering on the targets of the SDGs, while leaving no one behind.

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