Category Archives: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Education is a human right, claim it!

A student of Covenant University Secondary School curating his school's works.

We live in a world where things are not balanced. We have the good and the bad, poor and the rich, small and the big, Also, there are educated ones and the non-educated. Education remains an issue in the sub-Sahara and other developing countries. Occupying the No 4 on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) list, inclusive and quality education is no doubt, the foundation to improving people’s lives. For clarity, SDG 4 seeks to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. Education needs to be taken more seriously in view of the state of education in the developing countries.

According to the United Nations, enrolment in primary education in developing countries has reached 91 per cent but 57 million children remain out of school; More than half of children that have not enrolled in school live in sub-Saharan Africa; An estimated 50 per cent of out-of-school children of primary school age live in conflict-affected areas; and 103 million youth worldwide lack basic literacy skills, and more than 60 per cent of them are women.

As regards literacy, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) noted that over 757million adults worldwide still lack basic literacy skills with about two-third of them being women from Nigeria.

The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has it that Primary school enrolment has increased in recent years, but net attendance is only about 70 per cent, but Nigeria still has 10.5 million out-of-school children – the world’s highest number. Sixty per cent of those children are in northern Nigeria. About 60 per cent of out-of-school children are girls. Many of those who do enrol drop out early.

It is estimated that about 4.7 million of primary school age are still not in school also it was discovered that about 30% of pupils drop out of primary school and only 54% transit to junior secondary schools in 2015. UNESCO (2010) further puts the value for school enrolment Pre-primary (%gross) in Nigeria at 13.39.

To turn around the statistics presented earlier, SDG 4 has stated some targets, among which are “By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and Goal-4 effective learning outcomes; By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and preprimary education so that they are ready for primary education; By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university; By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy.

All the ten targets under Goal 4 are achievable by 2030, provided the government strengthens its policies and management of the education sector while the people in all the regions of Nigeria seize the opportunity of free basic education offered by the government.

Basic education is free in Nigeria. Therefore, there is no reason why any parent will not send his or her child to school. Besides, education is a fundamental human right which should not be denied any child. Let everyone claim it.                                                                                           Written by Oluwatoniloba Itabiyi (An intern)

Healthy lives and well-being for all, a 2030 agenda for everyone

SGWe live in a world where more than six million children die before their fifth birthday each year and where children of educated mothers, including those with only Primary education are more likely to survive than children of mothers with no education. In the same vein, only half of women in developing regions receive the recommended amount of health care they need and where Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age worldwide.

It is in the light of the above that the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3: ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’ targets that by 2030,there will be a reduction in the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births; an end to preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births; and by 2030, achieve an end to the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.

Imagine a world free of diseases and sick persons, and with reduced mortality cases! it is only possible with the participation of everyone in achieving these goals. If everyone works towards the goal and its targets, by 2020, the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents would have been halved; while ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes. Also, concerted efforts of everyone on SDG 3 will also lead to the achievement of universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.

‘Leave no one behind’ is the rallying call of the SDGs. Let us operationalise it. Let this be the guiding principle of the government in the implementation of the SDG 3 and in fact, all the 17 SDGs and the 169 targets. Everyone has a role to play in achieving the goals, the Government, Private Sector, Civil Society, Community Group and Individuals, we all are involved in the drive to achieving a sustainable solution to the health challenges.

Let’s join hands to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all.                                    Written by Oluwatosin Adebayo (An intern)

Ending poverty is a goal for all

Goal 1 pixPoverty knows no tribe or race; it knows no religion; and it is not peculiar to any gender. Little wonder, it is the first on the list of seventeen goals of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to the United Nations, about one in five persons in developing regions lives on less than $1.25 per day while 836 million people still live in extreme poverty; overwhelming majority of people living on less than $1.25 a day belong to two regions: Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa; and sadly, one in four children under age five in the world has inadequate height for his or her age. The latest of United Nations Development programme (UNDP) multidimensional poverty index also reveals that almost 1.5 million people in 91 developing countries are living in poverty with overlapping deprivations in health, education and living standard.

The National Bureau of statistics (NBS) notes that in Nigeria, 50.9 percent of the population (88,425 thousand people) are multidimensional poor while an additional 18.4 percent live near multidimensional poverty (32,001 thousand people). The breadth of deprivation (intensity) in Nigeria, which is the average of deprivation scores experienced by people in multidimensional poverty, according to NBS, is 54.8 percent.

It is instructive to note that in Nigeria, the North has the highest average poverty rate of states in the country with North -West at 71.4 per cent followed by North-East 69.1 per cent and North Central, 60.7 per cent. The record showed that poverty was least prevalent in the South-West, with an average of 49.8 per cent, followed by South-South, 55.5 per cent and South-East, 59.5 per cent.

As regards unemployment, the rate is 12.1%, underemployment (19.1%) and youth unemployment/ underemployment (42.24%) for the year 2016. From the foregoing statistics on poverty and unemployment/ underemployment, it is clear that ‘End poverty in all its forms everywhere’ should be on the front burner of development initiatives.

Within the framework of SDGs, the United Nations and its member States have set a goal that by 2030, poverty shall be eradicated everywhere. The targets include reduction of at least half of the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all dimensions according to national definitions; implementation of nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors and by 2030 achieving substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable; as well as ensure equal distribution of the economic resources as well as the basic necessities.                                                                                                                     Written by Nicole Chukwuka (An Intern)

Private sector, key to SDGs success in Nigeria – UN

UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Fatma Samoura addresses the audience

UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Fatma Samoura addresses the audience

The private sector remains a crucial sector with countless opportunities to drive the course of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their associated targets in Nigeria. The private sector has a huge contribution to make to the implementation of the SDGs through commitment to seeking shared value and environmentally sustainable ways of operating.

This was the view of the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in Nigeria, Ms Fatma Samoura, at the private sector engagement on the SDGs titled, Sustainable Industrial Development in Nigeria organised by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos and the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), an Agency of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.RC and hightable

Delivering the keynote address at the private sector engagement on the SDGs, Ms Samoura explained that achieving the new SDGs in Nigeria will be near impossible without the active involvement of the private sector. The private sector, she continued, should also start scaling up its efforts to end poverty, to protect the environment and save planet Earth.

Ms Samoura and other dignitaries take a tour of exhibition at the event

Ms Samoura and other dignitaries take a tour of exhibition at the event

“We know, many of you in business are increasingly joining the fight to deliver progress in Nigeria but we need to collectively redouble our efforts and commit more for Agenda 2030,” the Resident Coordinator added.

Speaking, the Senior Special Adviser to the President on SDGs, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire represented by the Secretary Programmes, Mr Ochopa Ogenyi, reiterated the importance of the private sector to sustainable development and noted that the Federal Government of Nigeria would work with partners to ensure the success of the SDGs in the country.

According to her, the SDGs is a robust 15-year global development framework to which national development priorities of Nigeria and countries around the world would be aligned.RC and Ronald at exhibition

In an 11-point communique issued at the end of the workshop attended by over 300 members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS), participants recommended a continuous dialogue amongst relevant agencies in the public and the private sector of the economy in order to hasten and sustain industrial development in Nigeria.

The workshop also requested that UNIC Lagos should facilitate the setting up of a United Nations-Private sector consultative committee to study, identify and integrate opportunities from the SDGs and the mechanics of mainstreaming them into the operations of the Organised Private Sector.

Make the world better, share SDGs with everyone – UNIC urges youth

CU 2The National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Mr Oluseyi Soremekun, has urged the youth to commit to making the world better by sharing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with everyone.

He said this while addressing 91 students of Political Science and International Relations from Covenant University, Ota Ogun State, who were on an educational visit to UNIC Lagos. The knowledge of the SDGs, Mr Soremekun continued, would help in refocusing youth activities and their contribution to national group

Speaking on ‘The United Nations and Global Development’, the National Information Officer earlier provided an overview of the UN, its purpose and highlights of its six Organs: General Assembly; Security Council; Secretariat, Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); International Court of Justice (ICJ) and The Trusteeship Council.

A student of Covenant University contributes to the discussion

A student of Covenant University contributes to the discussion

He traced the UN interventions for global development to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) framework and linked it to the SDGs, which he explained contained 17 goals and 169 targets.

The presentations were intersperse with two video clips on the SDGs after which the students made up of 67 females and 24 males, were asked questions on the United Nations and the Sustainable Development Goals. Gifts of UN publications were given to all students who answered the questions - presentation

The National Information Officer later presented to the department, some UN publicatiions which included the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; two editions of African Renewal, MDG Report 2015 and Notepads. They were received by Dr Chidozie Felix Chidozie who in turn presented to UNIC Lagos, the University souvenir.

UNIC Lagos takes SDGs to NGOs, presents SDGs Year Planner

A participant works with UNIC Lagos SDGs Year Planner

A participant works with UNIC Lagos SDGs Year Planner

Lagos, 05 January 2016: In its quest to widely disseminate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its targets in Nigeria, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, has hosted an NGO-Partners’ meeting to introduce the 17 SDGs and its associated 169 targets with a view to enhancing Partners’ understanding of the SDGs framework and its place in programming.

The meeting which was attended by 95 representatives of 75 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), focused on UNIC Lagos priorities for 2016, SDGs Overview; mapping of NGOs based on their mandates and according to the SDGs as well as aligning Partners’ core areas of activities with UN Observances in the year.

Addressing the participants, the Director of UNIC Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja, highlighted SDGs, Climate Change and Counter-terrorism as part of the 2016 priorities of UNIC Lagos. He urged the partners to be strategic in programming this year by aligning their activities with the SDGs. The global goals, he noted, must be localized through the collaborative efforts of UNIC Lagos and its NGO-partners.

A cross-section of participants

A cross-section of participants

The mapping of the NGOs, he explained, was aimed at aligning the focus of ‘our NGO partners with the goals and targets of the SDGs. To facilitate deliberation at the meeting, every participant was given a copy of UNIC Lagos SDGs Year Planner which contains all the 17 goals and the 169 targets. Besides, it also features all the International Days.

Acknowledging the technical support of UNIC Lagos, the Executive Director of Women in politics and Governance (WIPOGOV), Barrister Obiageli Obi, noted that the meeting was rich in contents and much focused. Speaking in the same vein, the Executive Director of Strategy For Mentoring Initiative and Leadership Empowerment (S.M.I.L.E), Mrs Bimpe Bamgbose-Martins, called for more of such quality engagements.

Managing Marine and Ocean resources for human development

Goal 14Human being can gain a lot from resources available in marine and ocean resources. But the value of the benefits they can derive depend on how well they manage such resources. It is on record that oceans contain nearly 200,000 identified species, but actual numbers may lie in the millions.

We need to be conscious of the fact that our lives depend on oceans as Oceans cover three-quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97% of the Earth’s water, and represent   99% of the living space on the planet by volume.

The market value of the worth of Ocean and marine resources has been relatively fixed by United Nations to about at $3 trillion per year or about 5% of global GDP. Can human afford to waste or mismanage such a huge resources? A vital ingredient human needs for growth, protein, is provided by oceans resources with more than 3 billion people depending on the oceans as their primary source.

More importantly Oceans absorb about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming! No one can argue global warming is not a challenge to human existence today.

In terms of employment generation, Marine fisheries directly or indirectly employ over 200 million people.

Unfortunately, as much as 40% of world oceans are heavily affected by human activities, including pollution, depleted fisheries, and loss of coastal habitats. As long as such abnormal use of or lack of appropriate treatment of marine and ocean resources persist, human beings may likely jeopardize their chances of getting high value from these invaluable resources.

With these huge benefits of marine and oceans resources, United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 14 is focused on Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. 

Let everyone resolve to avoid unwholesome use and destruction of oceans and marine resources. The achievement of SDG 14 is a massive gain to humanity.

UN solicits media support for SDGs campaign in Nigeria

Seyi at Radio One - 2Seyi at Radio One - 4 The National Information Officer of the United Nations Information centre (UNIC), Lagos, Mr Oluseyi Soremekun, has called on Nigerian Media to give their full support to the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in continuation of the unflinching support they accorded the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the past fifteen years.

He said this earlier this week during a radio programme, ‘Civil Society (C.S) Weekly’ on Radio One 103.5 FM. Commending the media for their contribution to the success of the MDGs, Mr Soremekun acknowledged that the media remained a strategic partner of the United Nations in its quest to disseminate the SDGs to the generality of Nigerians.

He urged the various media organisations in the country to regard the SDGs campaign as a public service geared towards improving the society. ‘The media should develop variety of programmes within the framework of the SDGs to widen the knowledge base of their audiences.

Seyi at Radio One - 3Speaking on the plans of UNIC Lagos to publicise the SDGs, the National Information Officer disclosed that the SDGs have been translated into four local languages: Pidging English, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba to enhance the understanding of the SDGs and its goals and for greater uptake and buy-in by the people.

“Besides,” he continued, “UNIC Lagos on 1 January 2016, launched the ’17 – 17 SDGs campaign’ on the social media to reach the bulk of youths who socialize every second on the social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.” He added that the campaign was meant to highlight the 17 goals of the SDGs in the first 17 days of every month from January to December.Seyi at Radio One

Mr Soremekun rounded up the radio interview with a brief insight into UNIC Lagos activities for this year, which according to him, included school outreach, media outreach, programmes on climate change and the SDGs as well as observance of International Days.


Climate Action: Bringing an end to global warming and disaster

FloodClimate change effects will always remain with us. Climate change is a change in global or regional climate patterns, usually attributed to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide caused by human use of fossil fuels and the release of greenhouse gases into the air. Such changes in the climate patterns often called global warming, manifest in unusual heat waves, flash floods, ocean acidification, desertification and its resultant food insecurity, rise in ocean level, among others.

The cause of the afore-mentioned have been traced to human activities such as depletion of the ozone layer, indiscriminate blockage of water channels with wastes that are not bio-degradable such as plastic bottles and polythene bags. This is in addition to the industrial pollution of the environment as well as gas emission and flaring.

It has been argued that global emissions of carbon dioxide have increased by almost 50% since 1990. To add to this, United Nations has also claimed that the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. Carbon dioxide concentrations have increased by 40% since pre-industrial times, primarily from fossil fuel emissions and secondarily from net land use change emissions. The ocean has absorbed about 30% of the emitted anthropogenic carbon dioxide, causing ocean acidification.

The effect of all these is the increase in danger pose to human existence. The sea level continues to rise, there has been several earthquakes, tornadoes, floods in a magnificent proportion leading to loss of lives and properties. Despite this, it is still possible to contain the effect of climate change. According to the United Nations, there are multiple mitigation pathways to achieve the substantial emissions reductions over the next few decades necessary to limit, with a greater than 66% chance, the warming to 2ºC – the goal set by governments.

Sustainable Development Goal 13, aims at encouraging everyone to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

To achieve this goal by 2030, we need to start the process now and sustain the efforts through the years to come.

Watch against personal attitudes that escalate climate issues: The way we live our daily lives has a lot of impact on the society. The way we dispose wastes means a lot. Blocking the drainages with polythene bags and plastic water bottles; indiscriminate felling of trees; weak regulatory and control of the environment including industrial wastes and Mining activities; are just a few activities that are capable of compromising safe environment.

Start an advocacy group: The least you can do is to start a climate action advocacy group in your area to help neutalise the dangers of climate change.

Human consumption, production pattern and global growth

Goal 12 -  EnglishOur world needs a commitment to growth and sustainable development. One best way to go is for people to give serious thought to the way and how they consume available resources as well as their production pattern. In many ways, human consumption pattern does a lot of damage to the ecosystem. This is the same for many production processes and patterns.

Take for instance, production of gas for household use, not many countries have given adequate thought to the damage such process has to the environment especially when safety precautions are thrown to the wind.

In many developing Countries energy consumption has not been developed because there has not been established or required policy direction which will lead to efficient energy management through mass production of energy-efficient lightbulbs. Waste management is still a big issue in many settlements. Meanwhile resources that are being wasted in many countries are in short supply in others.

According to the United Nations, 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted every year. If people worldwide switched to energy-efficient lightbulbs, the world would save US$120 billion annually. 

Water and other natural resources also require proper management. Used household water can also be recycled for human consumption instead of wasting such huge litter everyday as more than 1 billion people still do not have access to fresh water.

A sustained programme and process is required at different levels of the society if the world must continue to exist. It has been projected that the global population may reach 9.6 billion by 2050. The effect of this is that the world will require an equivalent of almost three planets to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles.

Ensuring responsible consumption and production pattern is goal 12 of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 2030 has been set as the target. Human growth and development may be a tall dream if this goal is overlooked. We must play our part. You want to learn more? Constantly visit this site as we provide answers to some of the issues. We encourage you also to share this information with your colleagues and send us a feedback; we value that.