The Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan, has called for an urgent involvement of the Local Government Areas in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation.
Dr Sunday Alonge from Social Policy Department, NISER, made the call while delivering a lecture during the NISER September Research Seminar Series in Ibadan.
Alonge spoke on the topic ‘Achieving the sustainable development goals in Nigeria: taking the necessary actions.
He decried the absence of the Local Government Areas in the implemnetation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country.
According to him, LGAs are the closest to the people, but they are absent in all ramifications regarding SDGs implantation in Nigeria.
“This is a serious lacuna; Nigeria has started the implantation of SDGs, though slowly, the implementation framework is more functional at the federal level than state level.
“The state is closer to the people, effort is required to do the needful at this level, and the LGAs that are closest to the people are left out in the stream of things regarding SDGs implementation.
“If Nigeria continues at this pace, achieving the SDGs will be a mirage,” he said.
Alonge also emphasised that effective legislation on the implementation of SDGs was required for effective implementation.
He suggested that such legislation could include a percentage of the budget at the federal and state level committed to the implementation of SDGs.
Alonge also called for a functional legislative agenda for the finance of the programme at all levels of governance to achieve the SDGs goals.
According to him, it’s very important to involve other partners apart from international donor agencies, especially the traditional rulers, community leaders among others.
He further urged the private sectors to engage as partners in the development process and invest in areas critical to sustainable development.
“In terms of data, monitoring and evaluation, special attention should be paid to states where the mechanisms for collecting data and engaging in proper monitoring and evaluation is not clear.
“Also, there is need to commit a percentage of the federal and state budget to the implementation of SDGs now that there is no debt relief gain to be used for the purpose,” he said.
Earlier, the NISER Director-General, Dr Folarin Gbadebo-Smith, said that the topic was captivating because the SDGs remained the country’s top agenda.
“We missed it in 2010, 2015, to miss that of 2030 will not be good at all, so that’s why we need to rise up now and begin to do the needful,” he said.
Gbadebo-Smith, represented by the Head of Human Capital and Policy Department, NISER, Prof. kolade Odekunle, commended the coordinators of the seminar for ensuring that it was held as part of the institute’s mandates.
Also, the chairman of the occasion, a Professor of Sociology at University of Ibadan, Adeyinka Aderinto, said the topic was apt in the country.
“The SDGs should be met by 2030 and we are in 2019, what progress have we made so far, though we still have 11 more years to go, but there is urgent need for us to wake up and begin to do the needful,” he said.