By Oni Edith Eromomene, Ayanwale Abiodun and Tomori Uriel.
Nigeria has been ranked 43rd out of 54 African countries in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to Africa SDG Index.
Accumulating a total of 47.1 in performance, Nigeria ranks low behind Sudan (47.4), Comoros (47.6) and Liberia (48.0) as well as some other countries currently recovering from crisis.
According to the report, the ranking provides an assessment—not just of where African countries stand with respect to the SDGs and their progress towards the goals, but also how African governments are implementing strategies for achieving them.
The organization reiterated that to make the survey more comprehensive, additional questions were added, organized around the following 6 areas:
1. National strategies and baseline assessments in the executive
2. Budgeting practices and procedures in the executive
3. Stakeholder engagement
4. Coordinating units in the executive
5. Legislative actions
6. Main challenges for implementation.
Mauritius, Cape Verde and Sao Tome & Principe ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Despite her economic strength, Nigeria ranked behind her neighbour Ghana (5th) and her economic rival, South Africa (6th).
It is important to note that, despite the establishment of the Office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on SDGs, nothing seems to be changing as attainment of the SDGs has recorded no improvement.
Furthermore, Nigeria ranked below 45% in Quality Education (SDG 4) and 30.3% in Zero Poverty and Well being & Good Health (SDGs 1 & 3) respectively. The data also showed that over 86 million Nigerians live in absolute poverty.
These statistics are evidences of the deteriorating state of infrastructure, economy, low standard of living and insecurity of food, lives and property in the country.
The Brain Builders International (BBI), therefore calls on both the Federal and State Government to address the crisis bedeviling critical sectors in the country such as health, education, security and human development.
The BBI also reiterates its commitment towards the achievement of the SDGs through its activities, the translation of the SDGs into local languages and the localization of the Goals with campaigners across the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria.
The Executive Director of the organization, Mr Abideen Olasupo, calls on all stakeholders to drive the promotion of the SDGs as we approach the decade of crucial action towards the attainment of the Goals, while clamouring for adequate monitoring, evaluation and advocacy for the SDGs.