Nigeria May Not Achieve SDGs By 2030-NESG

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Mohammed Shosanya

Nigeria is off-track in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) by 2030,Dr. Tayo Adeloju, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group(NESG),has said

He,however,there are few indicators that Nigeria could meet,such as birth registrations.

He spoke in Abuja at a media briefing for the third edition of the Gender and Inclusion Summit, organised by the Policy Innovation Centre (PIC), an initiative of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).

He disclosed that there are currently 28million unregistered child births in Nigeria, adding that any child not registered increases poverty, as government would not be to plan for the said child.

He explained that Nigeria’s health system, educational sector, poverty reduction strategies as well as gender equality have been far from achieving the SDGs.

He spoke on the pervasive nature of multidimensional poverty and gender inequality.

He said: “Evidence shows a parallel relationship between multidimensional poverty and gender inequality, with countries performing poorly on the Global Gender Report also exhibiting high severe multidimensional poverty.

“Multidimensional poverty encompasses deprivations in health (undernutrition, child mortality), education (years of schooling, attendance), and living standards (electricity, sanitation, water, housing, cooking fuel, asset ownership).

“The World Bank points out significant gender disparities in labour participation in Nigeria, with about 65.5% of men participating compared to around 52.1% of women.

“These disparities extend to business ownership, political leadership, employment, mobile phone use, and bank account ownership.

“The National Bureau of Statistics indicates that about two-thirds of Nigerians are multi-dimensionally poor, lacking income and basic amenities like healthcare, education, and clean cooking fuels.

“The Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2023 ranks Nigeria 109th out of 125 countries, indicating severe hunger levels, with women, girls and persons with disabilities facing higher food insecurity.

“In 2024, around 26.5 million Nigerians are projected to be food insecure, with about 4.8 million at risk in the conflict-affected northeast.

“Similarly, approximately 9 million children under five are at risk of acute malnutrition, impacting their growth and further perpetuating poverty.

“Conflict, climate change, inflation, and increasing food prices are among the pathways contributing to the rise in high food insecurity and malnutrition rates.”

According to him,sixty per cent of farming population in Nigeria are women, adding that Nigeria cannot ignore this huge population and attain food security.

He affirmed that the issue of addressing poverty must go beyond ‘as usual approach,’adding that all hands must be deck to defeat poverty in the country.

On the forthcoming gender and inclusion summit slated for September 4–5th, Adeloju explained that the Policy Innovation Centre had convened the Summit “with the aspiration to arrive at clear-cut gender-inclusive strategies and imperatives for poverty reduction.”

Speaking,the Executive Director of Policy Innovation Centre,Dr. Osasuyi Dirisu,
explained that the Gender and Inclusion Summit was conceptualised in 2022, as annual event to provide an inclusive platform to explore transformative ways to advance gender responsive governance and inclusion in Africa.

Commenting further on the extent of poverty in Nigeria, Dirisu said: “We face unprecedented times; a weak and non-inclusive economy, volatile macro-economic environment, security challenges and weak economic competitiveness.

“Conflict, climate risks, widening income gaps, food insecurity and inflation have exacerbated rising levels of poverty and inequalities in Nigeria.

“Addressing poverty in Nigeria cannot be business as usual. Ending poverty (Goal 1) and reducing inequality (Goal 10) are part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a wide range of approaches have been identified to reduce poverty and inequities.

“To design effective poverty reduction programmes, it is important to understand pathways to poverty, evidence based approaches that work and linkages to multi-sectoral inequities.”

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