How Nigeria Can Achieve Vision 20: 2020 By Adopting 6 UN’s SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals
Africa is rated as one of the continents with a large deposit of natural and human resources. With these, it has the potential to be among the world’s leading economies.
Among the countries believed to have all it takes to be a world economy is Nigeria. It is the most populated country in Africa and one with a huge deposit of human and material resources. The country has had a long history of developmental plans by past regimes and administrations. This include the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) etc.
All these and more have been touted and implemented with mixed results which is a pointer that they have not been effectively implemented yet.
Despite the country’s vision 20:2020 which expresses her dream on becoming one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2020, nothing serious seems to have been done about it.
In drafting and implementing developmental plans, a country should take into her account her population, decide the country’s pressing needs then map out the areas the plans should tilt towards.
Nigeria for instance being the most populated African country with a staggering number of one hundred and and ninety five million, eight hundred and seventy five thousand, two hundred and thirty seven (195,875,237) as at 2018 coupled with a fast dwindling economy and resources call for urgent measures to make the country more sustainable and inclusive for all.
To do this, it is suggested the country adopts the seventeen (17) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A frame work designed by the United Nations (UN) as a panacea to end the challenges faced by all the countries of the world.
What is more, it is tailored to fit virtually every countries’ needs. Using Nigeria as a model, the following goals were deemed most appropriate:
Goals 1,2,3,4,8 and 16:
Goal 1: End Poverty In All Its Forms Everywhere
This is arguably the most important goal. This is because there is no country of the world that has not experienced or still experiencing poverty.
The agricultural sector is one area that must be revitalized. For instance, Nigeria is said to have about ninety one million acres of rich arable lands which can be cultivated instead of spending huge amounts of money on importation.
Countries of the third world (of which Nigeria is a part of) should create a platform to develop a solid food and production chain. Since they appear to be the worst hit, they can export and import foods among and within themselves thereby generating income for their respective countries.
Ending poverty means providing employment opportunities for the citizens so that they can have means of livelihood.
Goal 2: End Hunger, Achieve Food Security and Improved Nutrition and Promote Sustainable Agriculture
To end poverty would mean poverty has been eradicated because they do not exist in isolation of the other. It is worthy to note that these SDGs are all aimed at ensuring food security and ensuring a more sustainable earth for all. Food security would mean that countries of the world must adopt eco-friendly and conservative habits especially in the use of nature’s resources.
A country like Nigeria should encourage the cultivation of foods such as tubers, grains, vegetables and fruits instead of importation. This would also add variety to the foods being eaten and make for improved nutrition.
Goal 3: Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well-being For All At All Ages
This should be Nigeria’s major concern what with life expectancy put at 54.5 as at 2016 and is even expected to fall. Nigeria should ensure that basic amenities such as food, clothing and shelter should be affordable. If this is done, it would ensure the UN’s target of reducing the mortality rate by about 70% would be very close to being achieved.
Goal 4: Ensure Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and Promote Lifelong Learning Opportunities
According to the Education for All (EFA) Monitoring Report, Nigeria is said to have about ten million, five hundred of its school-age children out of school and without any knowledge or skill.
To solve this challenge, education should be made more affordable. For those in the Northern parts of the country, where most of these out of school children are, education should be made free (at least from primary to junior secondary). This would serve as an enticement. Also the Qur’an should be incorporated into their curricula.
It is worthy of note that learning does not only mean formal education but also vocational and entrepreneurial education. This would ensure an all-round education.
Goal 8: Promote Sustained, Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth, Full and Productive Employment and Decent Work For All.
This should be Nigeria’s major goal. Nigerians need to play a huge role here. They must begin by investing in themselves. This would mean patronizing made in Nigeria products.
Nigerians have over the years been known to prefer foreign products due to status unwittingly conferred on them. Nigerians can now channel this money into the country’s coiffeur.
Tourism should also be developed. Tourist sites such as the Wikki Springs, Obudu Cattle Ranch, Yankari Game Reserve etc.
Goal 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:
This goal concerns Nigeria since she has been embroiled in domestic conflict in time past.
The country should partner with UFUK Dialogue Initiative- an international nongovernmental organization in the country founded in 2011 and dedicated to peaceful coexistence among Nigerians through the instruments of dialogue, love and tolerance.
All institutions at local, state and federal levels must be made accountable through periodic reviews of articles, submission of minutes showing how money allocated was spent, seminars and conferences to sensitize and educate them more on their duties and responsibilities.
It is about time Nigeria begins to explore these and many more angles towards her march to vision 2020.