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It’s been two years since the adoption of the sustainable development goals by 193 member states of the United Nations. September 25 – 27, 2015, world leaders gathered for a three-day summit at the United Nations to unanimously adopt a global agenda of 17 goals that aim to end poverty in all forms, protect the planet and ensure people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
Promises to achieve all these goals by 2030 were made and each country is expected to nationalize strategies, policies and processes.
Presently, more than 60% of the population still lives in poverty, we have the Boko Haram in the North destroying lives and property, the IPOB in the East agitating for sovereign state of Biafra, yearly increase of youth unemployment, kidnapping across the nation and climate issues amongst others. All of these issues and more spell doom for national development.
It is worthy to note, however, that successful implementation and achievement requires a collective effort of every Nigerian including those in the diaspora. An inclusive approach where every Nigerian everywhere is supporting the government either locally or nationally is the best technique that can be adopted. The government, media, academics, civil society, youths and private individuals should all get involved and ensure no one is left behind.
Every actor should build on the experience gained during the MDGs. Lessons learnt should serve as basis for better implementation and monitoring of the SDGs.
The academics should plug into existing networks such as the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, critique the government at all levels and importantly intensify their research on how best to implement the goals.
More media practitioners are needed to create platforms where further awareness can be created for these goals as well as proper monitoring of progress made.
The private sector can come in by creating more employment opportunities, producing sustainably and consequently ensuring a friendly and resilient climate. The sector should also get involved in corporate social responsibility initiatives which can go a long way in addressing social issues in the country.
The civil society as a driver of development, has been known to support the efforts of the government at all levels in ensuring national development. From mobilization of people and resources to wide dissemination of essential information, advocacy, monitoring and collaborating with other stakeholders. Civil society organisations should ensure they are at every point of their activities accountable and transparent to foster their contributions to SDGs attainment and national development. They should also use their various platforms to increase the level of awareness of the SDGs amongst Nigerians especially the grassroots who are expected to feel the impacts of development the most because the higher the level of awareness, the greater the possibilities of informing the government what we desire as citizens.
Youths are important actors in the development process and are generally perceived to be the drivers of social change. It is of great essence that they start taking responsibilities for the Nigeria they want. Youths have to relentlessly and with utmost belief fight for their future. No youth is too young to make a difference.
Nigerian government at all levels should in conjunction with their main responsibilities of ensuring national development create enabling environments for other stakeholders to carry out their activities, ensure inclusiveness, build and strengthen partnership with relevant organisations and agencies and most importantly, be receptive.
Not discountenancing the fact that some of these actors have since the adoption of these goals started creditable activities, the importance of intensifying all efforts cannot be overemphasized.
Attaining all 17 sustainable development goals by 2030 in Nigeria, I believe will be one of the greatest achievements of the country. Let us come together and work as one.
Together we can!!!