From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has launched launch of the Baseline Report and Realignment of the National Statistical System with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2020, aimed at ensuring reliable and accurate data for the implementation of the Programme.
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who launched the report, also commissioned 19 units of ambulances; an intervention by Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs) aimed at strengthening the healthcare system at the sub-national level in Nigeria and promoting SDG-3 on good health and well-being.
The report was jointly done by OSSAP-SDGs and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
According to the Vice President, the federal government integrated the in its policies and programmes to ensure that its development planning is sustainable.
He added that, the approach has been adopted in all programmes and policies of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration since its inception.
“This is precisely the approach that we have taken beginning from the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017 – 2020); the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPGRS); the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP)—our short-term response to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic;—and now the National Development Plan– 2021-2025 which was approved by the Federal Executive Council only last month.
“Its core components include human capital development, infrastructure and social development all of which are vehicles for achieving the SDGs.
“More specifically, the Plan identifies as areas of emphasis and action, agriculture, food security and rural development; water resources, sanitation, social protection and health and nutrition.
“These thematic areas mirror the SDGs and anchor the National Development Plan very tangibly to the achievement of the Goals.
“Our approach ensures that the SDGs are central to our national development efforts and are indeed policy priorities for the foreseeable future.
“Clearly all of these policy and planning documents bear the imprint of the SDGs as overarching national priorities.”
Vice President Osinbajo said that the federal government is committed to guaranteeing the sustained production of relevant statistical information needed for effective tracking and monitoring of the SDGs in Nigeria.
Osinbajo, the report will enable government to track progress on the SDGs on an annual basis.
He said the launch of the report was the culmination of a process which began in 2016 for monitoring and evaluating the progress made in the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria, adding that the achievement of the SDGs would be crucial to ending poverty, hunger, and disease, and for safeguarding environment.
“For our administration, our objective of achieving sustainable development , which means creating wealth, decent jobs, reducing poverty, addressing the issues of climate change – is both consistent with the aspirations of the SDGs and central to our entire vision for the country .
“This is why in May 2019, Mr. President made a public committment to lifting approximately 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within a 10-year period.”
He pointed out that Nigeria commenced the ‘Decade of Action’ for the SDGs, and had started recording modest progress on poverty reduction the COVID-19 pandemic emerged to undermine the prospects of achieving our aspirations.
“The pandemic, as we all know resulted in an unprecedented global disruption of economies.
“While wealthier countries were able to effectively fund massive stimulus and social protection plans to deal with the impact of the plague, developing countries including Nigeria suffered disproportionately due to their resource constraints.
“Yet, to its credit, despite the restrictions occasioned by the COVID-19 outbreak and its fallouts , our SDG Office in Nigeria succeeded in putting in place effective institutional mechanisms at the national and sub-national levels to drive the implementation of the SDGs across the country.
“During this difficult period, Nigeria successfully presented its Second Voluntary National Review Report on the SDGs to the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development sometime in July 2020.
“The 2020 Voluntary National Review process was conducted by the deployment of ICT platforms to conduct virtual consultations across all the key segments of the society.
“The key findings identified the major successes as well as the challenges that must be addressed if we must achieve the SDGs by the year 2030.
“There is no question that the Nigeria SDGs Implementation Plan (2020-2030) offers a coherent pathway for achieving the expected outcomes in the next decade.”
He identified the increased range of reporting from 126 indicators recorded in the 2016 baseline Report to the 141 indicators in the current 2020 report as marked improvement.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, represented by the Director, Macro-Economic Analysis in the ministry, David Adeosun, announced that the country’s National Development Plan 2020-2025, recently approved by the Federal Executive Council, would be launched by President Muhammadu Buhari and presented to the public on Wednesday.
In her remarks, Senior Special Assistant to the President on the SDGs, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire said that launch of the report underscored the importance Nigeria attaches to statistics.
She added that the implementation of the SDGs required statistical data.
The SSAP on SDGs, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, said with the launch of the report, Nigeria is now the first country in Africa to have successfully aligned its National Statistical System with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs.
She added that with the technical and financial support of UNICEF, Nigeria is the first country in the Global South to successfully conduct Independent Evaluation of two priority SDGs – SDG-3 on ‘qualitative health and wellbeing’ and SDG-4 on ‘qualitative and inclusive education for all’.
“These were prioritized based on our national development priorities as embedded in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP -2017-2020). The two Evaluation Reports are undergoing content edit ahead of formal presentation early next year.”
She explained that data was important for national development, and urged all MDAs to ensure that the collaboration with NBS in data production is strengthened and sustained, such that the process of producing statistics will be seen to be effectively coordinated for meaningful outcomes.
“Therefore, let us all endeavour to put in place a system for sustained, quality and reliable data production at all levels of Government in Nigeria (both vertical and horizontal). The OSSAP-SDGs as the Coordinator of the national SDGs Framework, will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that Nigeria is on the right trajectory towards obtaining a sustainable data, reliable and accurate data for the implementation of SDGs.
“Accordingly, this report is a follow-up of the 2016 Baseline Report and the 2nd Voluntary National Review report that was presented to the High Level Political Forum in July, – thus providing us with a timely reminder of our successes and challenges especially in this unprecedented year following the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of the pandemic has created an unprecedented global crisis, disrupting health systems and socio-economic conditions of nearly every individual around the world including millions of Nigerians. In Nigeria, the pandemic has further pushed million Nigerians into poverty to an estimated 95.7 million by the end of 2022.
“While the pandemic amplifies challenges and risks, and has led to loss of jobs and livelihoods as well as significant impact on resource mobilization, it also offers opportunities for governments to build forward better and help towards achieving the SDGs. The multi-dimensional impacts of the pandemic present an opportunity to reprioritize investments for national developments and integrated responses towards renewed efforts and the necessary conditions on investments towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.”
The Statistician General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of National Bureau of Statistics, Dr. Simon Harry, explained the result of the data mapping exercise depicted that of the 230 indicators, data on 68% of them are expected to come from system of Administrative Statistics (SAS), while 23% would come from survey Abe censuses and the remaining nine percent are to be derived through simple computation.
“These findings, therefore, presupposes that as a nation for us to meticulously monitor and Tracy the progress made in the implementation of the SDGs, SAS would have to be well strengthened and repositioned. For this reason, the data mapping exercise conducted in 2016 was to enable us identify the data sources for the various Goals, targets and their associated indicators as well as frequency and level disaggregation of the data. In order to properly provide a guide to the realignment process, a comprehensive data dictionary was developed, giving clear definitions of all the relevant concepts and indicators as well as the sources of the data, taking the peculiarity of the Nigerian economy in hot consideration.”