20 September 2016
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), set by the United Nations in 2000, are a series of time-bound development goals that sought to address issues of poverty, education, gender inequality, child mortality, diseases, maternal health, environment and development.
The UN targets that problems surrounding the thematic issues would have been halved by the target date of 2015.
There were many obvious and expected challenges to the success of the goals, particularly for Nigeria.
A 2014 assessment showed that challenges such as the global financial upheavals, food and fuel crises were hurdles Nigeria faced in its strides to attain the set goals.
While the country made significant progress in primary school enrollment, minute reduction in the prevalence of HIV/AIDS and ratio of girls to boys in primary schools it continued to face challenges in primary education completion rate and access to improved water supply and sanitation, among others.
The assessment showed that the success of the MDGs were hindered by factors such as a lack of reliable and consistent data, huge funding gaps, human capacity challenges and weak governance and accountability environment.
Other challenges were poor coordination between the tiers of government and the difficulty or lack of measurements for some of the goals.
Boko Haram insurgency in the northeastern part of Nigeria is another reason.
Recently, two new cases of the polio virus were discovered in the region resulting in Nigeria losing its polio-free status which will set the country back another two to three years to regain.
The United Nations also recently warned that following the insurgency in the northeast, the region could witness famine in the nearest future.
These situations show that the effectiveness of the MDGs is one that can be questioned and thus do not inspire much confidence in the success of the newly-established Sustainable Development Goals which were adopted last September at the 70th United Nations General Assembly.
Not much appears to have been put in place in terms of policy, infrastructure and funds in the past year since the adoption of the SDGs apart from statements and promises by the Federal Government which can be likened to mere rhetoric.
As world leaders gather again in New York for the 71st UN General Assembly, the question to be asked is: what are the hopes that Nigeria will achieve much in the SDGs, going by its dismal performance in the MDGs?
Author: Aderonke Adeleke
Writer. Music lover. Movie junkie. Social Media Enthusiast. Aspiring dancer. Aspiring photographer. Social Introvert.