stakeholders have called for renewed action to fast-track the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda in Kaduna State, barely seven years to the 2030 target of the agenda.
The stakeholders made the call on Thursday in Kaduna, during a panel discussion on “Achieving the SDGs in Nigeria”, at the 2022 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit 2.0.
The summit was organised by the SDGs Unit, Kaduna State Planning and Budget Commission (PBC), to increase awareness, renew commitment and mobilise resources to accelerate the achievement of the goals.
The panelists noted that although a lot had been achieved over the years, much needed to be done to bridge the disparity in the distribution of the SDGs achievements among communities.
One of the panelists, a former Commissioner in the state planning and budget commission, Mr Muhammad Abdullahi, popularly known as Dattijo, noted the huge inequality among communities and vulnerability.
Abdullahi, the current candidate for Kaduna Central Senatorial Seat in the 2023 General Elections on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, stressed the need for renewed plan and collaboration to address poverty.
“Renewed action and collaboration are critical in the next seven years to 2030, to make reasonable and sustained progress in SDGs.
“Our people that are living in urban slums and rural areas require huge support over the next 10 years for us to achieve the required key SDGs indicators.
“There is disparity in terms of how the achievements are distributed and I think this is really where we need to focus attention on.
“There is the need for a concerted amount of work – accelerated and emergency action on poverty, on malnutrition, on maternal mortality and all social indicators that really impact on human capacity,” he said.
In terms of policy, Abdullahi said that the executive and the legislative arm of the government must create policies that would jack people quicker and faster out of poverty and malnutrition.
According to him, the state needs to bring business that will employ a large number of people and give them income that can allow them to live quality lives.
Another panelist, Mr Donald Burgess, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kaduna Office, stressed the need for relevant stakeholders to do more to make huge progress as the world countdown to 2030.
Burgess further pointed out that the SDGs was a duty for all, stressing the need for renewed commitment with a focus on human capital.
“As part of the needed renewed action, we must all contribute to reviewing policies relating to human capital.
This is because, if you have the right people in the state; if you have the right skills in the state; and if you have the right capacity in the state, you will be able to create a model that the world will copy.
“Therefore, it is very important to see how to engage everyone and work with partners to come out with policies that will contribute to human capital that will contribute to attainment of SDGs,” he said.
On his part, Dr Abdulqadir Ja’afar of Sociology Department, Kaduna State University, noted that with barely seven years left, there was the need for leaders to work for the interest of the people.
According to Ja’afaru, such leaders will sustain the progress so far recorded in SDGs, stressing the need to figure out what to do next to accelerate further progress.
In addressing the financing gap for the SDGs, Mr Shubham Chaudhuri of the World Bank, described financing as a “critical element” in attainment of SDGs.
According to him, national and sub-nationals need funding and make progress, stressing the need for mobilization of local resources to sustain progress in SDGs results.
Similarly, Dr Amarakoon Bandara of the United Nations Development Programme, said that stakeholders SDGs actions should be based on efficiency to achieve greater results.
Bandara also urged the government to support businesses to thrive through ease of doing business that would promote private sector investment and attract more resources and improve local revenue.
Another penalist, Dr Bala Yunusa, Senior Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on SDGs, said that SDGs had been institutionalized in Nigeria from SDGs mapping to realignment with the National Statistical data system with the indicators.
Another area, he said, was the customisation and domestication of the integrated SDGs simulation model, a homegrown analytical tool for SDGs-based development planning, both at the national and subnational level.
“We are also the first to start the first independent evaluation of prioritised SDGs, down to the drafting of the integrated national financing framework for SDGs in Nigeria,” he said.