NIGERIA AND THE QUEST FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Olubode Olabayonle SimeonOLUBODE Olabayonle Simeon is a graduate of OAU’s Electronic and Electrical Engineering, and member of the All Nigerian United Nations Students and Youth Association (ANUNSA). Bode aspires to establish a university of technology patterned after the prestigious Massachusetts Insititute of Technology, USA. He’s a social critic and Public Affairs Commentator who believes Nigeria will be better when men of integrity actively participate in public service. Olubode currently resides in Lagos where he works as a fiber Optics Engineer with a telecom company. 

 

Nigeria and the rest of the world on 23rd of September, 2015 at the United Nations General Assembly in New York adopted a post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) termed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which contains a 17 point action plan geared towards achieving Global Goals by 2030. There is therefore a need for us to critically assess the MDGs so that we can have a clear path in pursuing the SDGs.

MDGs

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and leading development institutions.

Goal 1 – Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger

According to 2014 Millennium Development Goals Report of The United Nation, Nigeria sits third in the top five countries with the largest share of the global extreme poor (china – 32.9%, India – 35.5%, Nigeria – 8.9%, Bangladesh – 5.3%, Democratic Republic of Congo – 4.6%, other countries – 35.5%) with about 100 million Nigerians living below the poverty threshold (1.25$ per day).

Goal 2 – Achieving universal primary education

The net enrollment rate for primary education for Sub-Saharan Africa has increased from 52% in 1990 to 78% in 2012 with Nigeria’s literacy rate estimated at 61% but the number of illiterates remains high despite rising literacy rates.

Goal 3 – Promoting gender equality and empower women

According to the above-quoted 2014 MDGs report, gender disparities are more prevalent at higher levels of education with Nigeria and the rest of the Sub-Saharan Africa having a gender parity index of 0.92% in primary education, 0.84% in secondary education and 0.64% in tertiary education.

Also, recent empirical evidences suggest that about 80.2 million women and girls in Nigeria have significantly worse life chances than men and also their sisters in comparable societies.

Goal 4 – Reducing Child Mortality

According to the 2014 UN report on MDGs, four out of every five deaths of children under age five continue to occur in Nigeria and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa. Nevertheless, the region has made remarkable progress since 1990, reducing child mortality rates by 45%.

It is worthy to note that preventable diseases are the main causes of under-five deaths, and almost half of under-five deaths occur during the neonatal period and of all the three remaining countries with endemic polio, Nigeria’s last reported case was 24 July, 2012 which prompted the world to remove Nigeria from the list of polio-endemic nations with only Afghanistan and Pakistan left. On the contrary, Nigeria is still prone to Measles with a total of 5189 reported cases in 2011, and it has been estimated that about 1.7 million children in Nigeria are still unprotected from the deadly disease.

MDGss

Goal 5 – Improving Maternal Health

Globally, the maternal mortality ratio dropped by 45% between 1990 and 2013 from 380 deaths to 210 deaths per 100,000 live births.

But Nigeria is still among the nations with extreme maternal mortality with 40,000 maternal deaths alone in 2013 (14%). Only India has more maternal death than Nigeria with 50,000 maternal deaths (17%).

Most maternal deaths are preventable. These are well-known health care solutions for the prevention and handling of complications.

Goal 6 – Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Though HIV prevalence is much lower in Nigeria compared to other Africa countries – such as South Africa and Zambia, in 2011 alone, approximately 210,000 people died from AIDS in Nigeria. The three main HIV transmission routes in Nigeria are Heterosexual sex, blood transfusion and mother-to-child transmission with an estimated 69,400 children newly infected with HIV in 2011. Worldwide, Nigeria has the second highest number of new infections reported each year, and an estimated 3.7% of the population are living with HIV. There’s a need to increase HIV prevention in Nigeria through better sex education for young people.

According to 2011 Nigeria Malaria Fact Sheet published by US Embassy, malaria is a major public health problem where it accounts for more cases and deaths than any other country in the world. Malaria is the third leading cause of death for children under five years and it is a risk for 97% of Nigeria’s population. There are an estimated 100 million malaria cases with over 300,000 deaths per year in Nigeria which compares with 215,000 deaths per year from HIV/AIDS. Therefore, urgent attention must be put in place using the four scientifically proven key interventions to prevent and treat malaria: Insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs), indoor residual spraying(IRS), intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women (IPT), and diagnosis and treatment.

Goal 7 – Ensuring Environmental Sustainability

In Lagos alone, 9,000 metric tonnes of waste is generated daily, and about 19,000 tonnes of hazardous waste is produced annually in Nigeria and the waste comes mainly from steel, metal processing, pharmaceuticals, textiles, and oil refining industries. Also, environmental experts recorded about 125 slum communities.

Although, the Federal ministry of environment said Nigeria is set to reduce emissions and prevent average global temperature from rising above 2-degrees Celsius, more still needs to be done to ensure the environment is safe and clean by adopting more environmental-friendly technologies.

Goal 8 – Developing a global partnership for development

In 2012 alone, Nigerian received about $336million in foreign aids from the United States with heath aid scooping about $279,431,567 of the total sum. Other donor agencies also contributed huge sum of money to the country in the period. However, this has not contributed to any meaningful development hence there is a need for foreign aids to be coordinated and harmonized in Nigeria through administrative framework that has clearly identifiable focal point.

UN

In conclusion, there is a need for relevant government agencies, NGOs, CSOs, private institutions and development partners to analyze critically with a view of correcting the pitfalls of MDGs and rigorously pursuing the SDGs with a renewed hope and tenacity and thus ensuring that by 2030, Nigeria is free from poverty and hunger, there is decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities,good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, and peace, justice and strong institutions.

All these and many more can be achieved with adequate planning, accurate data and proper implementation.

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A media team that is unrepentantly committed to building young minds with thought-provoking articles containing scents of historical reflections.
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