Nigeria Lags Behind, Achieves Only 1 Out Of 17 SDGs 

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The resident and humanitarian coordinator, United Nations Nigeria, Mathias Schmale.

The United Nations has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to make concerted efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as Nigeria has achieved only one goal out of the 17 SDGs. 

The resident and humanitarian coordinator, United Nations Nigeria, Mathias Schmale, made this call during the closing ceremony and decorations of participants as champions of SDGs in Abuja, stressing the UN is working to define a new development cooperation framework for Nigeria. 

“For the SDGs, the world [including Nigeria] has committed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals. We are in the middle as a United Nation to define a new development cooperation framework for the next five years as the one we have runs out at the end of the year.

“Sadly, in Nigeria, only one goal is being achieved out of the 17 SDGs. We can’t continue [with] business as usual. We have to change the way we work. We need to change the approach and define transformative actions that can help achieve these goals,” he said.

Schmale further called for more partnership in bringing about the much-needed development. 

“Our job is to help the government solve her developmental problems, we need important partnerships, hence the need to hold government and UN accountable,” he stated.

The UN resident coordinator maintained that on the path to achieving gender equality (Goal 5), the UN’s convening power should be utilised in achieving dialogues that can bring about the needed change. 

“The UN has convening power; I have been struck by how respected the UN is in Nigeria. It’s not like that around the world. We should use the currency that we have to convene dialogues. We need to have open dialogues with men so we know how to restrategise and address issues on gender equality.

“Nigeria has produced remarkable women leaders. My boss is a Nigerian woman, the deputy secretary-general Amina Mohammed. For the first time, we have a woman, a Nigerian leading the World Trade Centre. 

“Nigeria has the largest women representation on boards in Africa in the private sector, but the lowest representatives in politics. So, the best we can do is to profile them, to learn from them,” he added. 

Schmale harped on the role of the media in achieving the SDGs. 

“I see the media playing two essential roles, one is making sure citizens are well informed and can form their own opinions while factual evidence reporting is critical in our time, especially in the wake of fake news. Factual reporting is very important. Also, accountability is imperative,” he pointed out.

Science Nigeria reports that the training on sustainable development goals by the United Nations Information Centre in collaboration with Media Awareness and Information For All Networks seeks to equip journalists with ideas on sustainability journalism.

Prudence Eboagwu-Ijah
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