Beyond lips service to sustainable development goals (SDGs), Nigeria needs to take real action to achive the global goals. Nigeria SDGs targets should by now move beyond foundational to implementation.
Nigeria is bedevilled with many problems from massive corruption to poor governance structure and to incessant insecurity . In the current situation that Nigeria faces, it’s very difficult for people at the helm of affairs to think of how to develop Nigeria on a sustainable pathway.
Nonetheless, the only pathway that creates the best overall result is sustainability. Nigeria has an option of investing in the direction of sustainability or continue to use its resources in a manner that undermines the future generations lots, just like the past leaders did plunge the nation’s resources that make millions of Nigerian youths unemployed and frustrated today.
Sustainable development is basically viewed from three lenses; economics, environmental and social. In reference to Nigeria, the country is far from being sustainable in any of the three dimensions of the SDG.
Nigeria economic dimension of SDGs
Economically we are heavily dependent on crude oil that holds no future and that cannot grow the country towards sustainability. Our political system is unbearably expensive and unimaginably inefficient.
A country with about 500 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), yet they can’t fix any of the problems the nation is facing. Poverty continues to increase, unemployment continues to get worst, price level deplores masses, inequality in all its forms continue to make Nigerians well-beings decline.
Nigerian leaders are handling developmental issues in the country in manners that encourage all of these negative situations to escalate.
One dimension of the developmental issue is economic development. Nigerians have suffered economic hardship except for the few rich in the country. For instance, prices of goods and services have doubled in the last three years with the income of average Nigerian remaining the same. In other words, Nigerians purchasing power have reduced by half making more than 111 millions Nigerians in a deplorable state.
The problem of unemployment especially among Nigerian youths is disturbing. More than 80 per cent of Nigerian graduates are unemployed, making the majority of the workforce idle. The implication of this is not only to the unemployed youths but also to the productivity of Nigeria future.
Nigeria environmental dimension of SDG
Another dimension of sustainable development Nigerian government need to take seriously is environmental issues. There is a strong link between herdsmen killings and climate change impacts. For instance, desserts encroachment and deforestation increase herder/farmer attacks.
Though the federal government is putting efforts to curtail climate change impacts by issuing a green bond. For example, there’s still a lot of measures the government need to take.
The farmer/herdsmen crisis is one of the many impacts of climate change. Therefore, to avoid climate change impacts like feminine and flooding, it’s better for the government to focus on sustainable development goals and leverage on climate and environmental funds to ease climate change impacts.
Nigeria social dimension of SDG
Social indicators are not looking up as suggested by the minister of information and culture, Mr Lia Mohammed. The mortality rate, unemployment rate, urban slum, education quality and many others are in reds.
No country can development towards a sustainable path without laying a strong social foundation for its citizens.
In three weeks thereabout, Nigerians will elect a president. The measure to determine a good president should not be on job creation alone. But should include how decent and sustainable those jobs are going to be.
In the same vein, social programmes need to be inclusive and empowering. Programmes that fail to lift Nigerians out of extreme poverty at least do not worth voters attention.
Therefore, whether it is next level or getting Nigeria to work again, what matters at the end of the day is giving Nigerians what will last. However, from what we have seen from the two leading candidates, none is capable of bringing quality living to Nigeria.