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 SDGs: United Nations Rates Nigeria Low In Performance


The United Nations Resident and Humanitarians Coordinator, Matthias Schmale, has advised political parties to reflect the Sustainable Development Goals in their manifestos, noting that Nigeria lags behind in the implementation of the SDGs.

SDGs Nigeria is being coordinated by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs), headed by Price Adejoke Orelope Adefulire.

Schmale gave the advice on Thursday during a roundtable event with leaders of political parties to discuss the future of the SDGs in Nigeria.

He said much needed to be done in accelerating the little progress made in achieving the SDGs in Nigeria.

“Unfortunately, Nigeria is far behind in achieving the SDGs. We are hoping that what we have signed for will accelerate more achievements. However, much more needs to be done. Progress needs to be accelerated. We have agreed in the UN a number of transforming initiatives that will bring about change and build on these achievements.

“The round table discussion is to know what the parties priorities are against the SDGs agenda and what challenges that you have identified that Nigeria needs to overcome to achieve the SDGs agenda,” he said.

Only seven out of 18 political parties were represented; the Peoples Democratic Party; the African Action Congress; the Young Progressives Party; the Social Democratic Party; the African Democratic Congress; the Peoples Redemption Party; the Boot Party; and the National Rescue Movement.

The various parties’ representatives claimed that there were many of their plans that reflected the SDGs.

The Head of Department, Foreign Chapter, PDP, Agape Kramen, noted that the party was ready to tackle poverty, poor education, and increase youths involved in politics as SDG 1 ( no poverty); SDG 4 (quality education) and SDG 5 (gender equality).

Kramen said, “Nigeria is a developing country and we have gone through system changes which really have not been successful. However, the PDP is ready to follow in every SDG. The PDP will put everybody in school. There will be Primary Health Centres and educational centres in different local government areas. The women will be empowered by helping them develop the right sense of value.”

Also, the National Secretary, the YPP, Vidiyeno Bamaiyi, stated that his party was ready to work on SDG 13 (climate action).

Bamaiyi noted, “We are one of the political parties that have covered robustly on climate change issues and we have taken it seriously. The last few climate change conferences, we were the only political party that sent representatives. Be assured that when the YPP takes over the government, climate change will be a matter that will always be prioritised.”

Speaking after the parties spoke about the SDGs in their manifestos, the UN Resident Coordinator said, “The roundtable discussion was a rich dialogue that is not just useful to the UN but also useful to political parties for the betterment of the country.

“Some of you spoke about reflecting the SDGs in your manifestos. That is what we have found best rather than having separate plans for the SDGs. The goal needs to be owned and reflecting it in your manifestos works best not just in Nigeria but around the globe.

“All of you spoke about leaving no one behind, which is about inclusiveness. It means that all Nigerians will benefit from the manifestos.

“I am happy that all the political parties said they will revitalise the economy which will pull a lot of Nigerians out of poverty.”

He advised political parties to focus more on the spending aspect of finance in order to revitalise the economy.

Schmale noted, “However, Nigeria is a wealthy country that needs a better way of generating resources for state purposes and there is a need to look at the spending of this wealth and how it can earn more impact.”

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