Vice-President, Namadi Sambo
Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, has confirmed that the country is off the mark towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets by 2015 deadline.
Sambo stated this during the stakeholders’ briefing on the MDGs Acceleration Framework (MAF) in Abuja.
He singled out maternal health (Goal5) and child mortality rate (Goal4) as two of the goals where the country is lagging behind, saying that with the 2015 deadline in less than 1,000 days away; it has become imperative to fast-tract actions towards attainment of the MDGs in Nigeria.
He said: “With the 2015 deadline for the attainment of the MDGs with less than 1,000 days away, it has become urgent to conduct an increasingly deeper and contextual analysis of the key challenges impeding progress against the MDGs, their solutions and collective efforts and resources needed for accelerating progress.
“The fact that MAF, as a UN methodological framework that offers governments and their partners a systematic way to identify and prioritise bottlenecks to progress on MDGs targets that are off-track in order to suggest ‘acceleration’ solutions to these bottlenecks is being applied to Goal 5 inspires hope.
“Although Nigeria has made significant strides in reducing maternal mortality from figures that were above 1,000/100,000 live births in 1990 to 545/100,000 live births in 2008, attainment of the health MDGs still remain a challenge in Nigeria.”
“For instance, the current annual reduction in under-five mortality of four per cent is far below the 13 per cent annual reduction needed to bend the curve to attain Goal 4 by 2015. Similar reduction in maternal mortality leaves much to be desired,” he added.
Earlier, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Dauda Traore, Represented by Mr. Ade Lekoetje Mamoyane, commended the efforts of Nigeria towards the attainment of MDGs despite the numerous economic and political challenges witnessed globally leading to dwindling resources.
Troare noted that globally, there have been significant strides in the last decade towards achieving many of the MDGs targets, “reducing poverty, empowering women and increasing access to basic services like healthcare, education and clean water.”
He, however, lamented that progress has been uneven across the goals, and within countries and regions.
“We have seen in Nigeria, governments commitments to accelerate the MDGs through financial, institutional and policy frameworks including the countdown strategy, the Vision 20:2020 National Implementation Plan and groundbreaking programmes like the Conditional Grant Scheme and the Conditional Cash Transfers,” he said.