A renowned lecturer at Enugu State University of Science and Technology , Department of Mass Communication, Mr Anthony Ezinwa has lamented Nigeria poor data for many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets.
He made this known in his paper presentation titled : “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as Child Rights,” at a two-day Media Dialogue with media practitioners in Enugu on how the SDGs is linked to Child Rights, which showed Nigeria moving at a slow pace toward achieving the goals, which are set to expire in 2030.
The workshop was called at the instance of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in partnership with UNICEF which is aimed to study how fulfilling the SDGs will improve child rights, such as access to school, healthcare, reduced malnutrition, and safe water, among many other.
The 17 SDGs are focused on a wide variety of topics such as: No Poverty; No Hunger; Good Health and Well-Being; Quality Education; Gender Equality;
Clean Water and Sanitation;
Affordable and Clean Energy
; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure; and Reduced Inequalities.
More so, Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate Action; Life Below Water; Life On Land; Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions; and Partnerships for the Goals
Ezinwa hinted that, “Nigeria was ranked 160th on the 2020 world’s SDG index 2020 from 159th in 2019.
“83 million Nigerians, representing 40% of the country’s population, live in poverty. 70.3% of children live in poverty, while 23.3% live in extreme poverty. The statistics dent the country’s drive to achieve the SDG goal one, seeking ‘no poverty.’
“70% of 10-year-olds in Nigerian schools could not understand simple sentences or perform basic numeracy tasks.
” Estimated 170 million people living in the country, 75 million did not have basic literacy skills. At the same time, 10.5 million children were out-of-school, the highest number of out-of-school children globally.
“One-third of children in the country were out-of-school, and one in five out-of-school children in the world was a Nigerian”, he explained.
His presentation, however, doubted the country’s readiness to achieve SDG 4 – Quality Education.
In Nigeria, Ezinwa, further stated that, one in every five women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 reportedly experiencing physical or sexual assault by an intimate partner over the past 12 months.
Women, who make up slightly less than half of the population but account for more than 70% of those living in extreme poverty, cast doubt on the country’s commitment to achieving the SDG’s goal 5 – Gender Equality.
He noted that one-third of the country’s children do not have access to clean water and sanitation, which is goal number six.
According to him, “25.5 million Nigerian children are experiencing high or extremely high-water vulnerability, while 209 million Nigerians use water contaminated at the point of collection.
“In addition to 46 million people who defecate in the open – the highest rate in the world.
” SDGs goal 7 – affordable and clean energy – he said 789 million people globally lacked access to electricity, with 548 million of the number living in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Power supply has been a challenge in Nigeria, with the national grid collapsing multiple times yearly, leaving the nation without a power supply, thereby grounding economic activities.
“The United States Government estimates that Nigeria, estimated at 200 million people, depends on about 4,000 megawatts of power, despite having the capacity to generate 12,522 MW of electric power from its existing plants.
“As of 2019, Nigeria’s population was 195.87 million, and the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at $397.27 billion, according to the US”, he added.
Ezinwa, however, supplied global data for other SDGs, but not for Nigeria specifically. Climate change, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, justice, and strong institutions are all concerns that the country is grappling with.
Recalled that, all 193 member states of the United Nation have adopted 17 global goals to be achieved by 2030, known as the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. The SDGs offer a framework and blueprint for achieving sustainable global prosperity and commit participating countries to individual and joint action for the good of all on the planet. The SDGs are a successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which ran from 2000 to 2015.
Each of the overarching 17 goals is underpinned by several targets that add specificity and measurability. For example, SDG6 on water features specific targets for water quality, access to drinking, access to sanitation, water use efficiency, and more.
Each country adopting the SDGs is responsible for establishing a national policy that offers a concrete plan for achieving SDGs in their country. Organizations and institutions are also encouraged to frame their own strategic objectives around the SDGs, creating a global task force of cooperation and joint interest.