One major governance issue in Nigeria despite long years of independence and public administration is that of absence of sustainable goals. This has impeded socio-economic development and growth of this country.
Regrettably, Nigeria is among the nations that failed to meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goals, MDGs targets. At the Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September, 2015, UN Member States (including Nigeria) adopted a new set of agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.
The SDGs, otherwise known as the Global Goals, is built on the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs’ eight anti-poverty targets that the world committed to achieving by 2015. The MDGs, adopted in 2000, aimed at an array of issues that included slashing poverty, hunger, disease, gender inequality, and access to water and sanitation. Enormous progress has been made on the MDGs, showing the value of a unifying agenda underpinned by goals and targets.
The sustainable development goals, SDGs are a new, universal set of goals, targets and indicators that UN member states are expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years.
The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals are: (1) End poverty in all its forms everywhere. (2) End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. (3) Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. (4) Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. (5) Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.(6) Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.(7) Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. (8) Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. (9) Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. (10) Reduce inequality within and among countries. (11) Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. (12) Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. (13) Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. (14) Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. (15) Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. (16) Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels, and (17) Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development.
The global goals, and the broader sustainability agenda, go much further than the MDGs, addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people.
It therefore marks an important milestone in putting our country on an inclusive and sustainable course. If we all work together (government and the people) we have a chance of meeting people’s aspirations for peace, prosperity, and well-being, and to preserve our nation.
Collectively, all stakeholders can support communication of the new goals, strengthening partnerships for implementation, and filling in the gaps in available data for monitoring and review with the relevant government agencies spearheading the implementation process.