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SDG and ending poverty in Nigeria

The enormous role of governments at all levels in achieving sustainable development in Nigeria beyond policy deadlines is a generational duty in perpetuity – our…

The enormous role of governments at all levels in achieving sustainable development in Nigeria beyond policy deadlines is a generational duty in perpetuity – our governments must set ambitious and audacious long-term development goals; timeously pass and execute our fiscal budgets, for a delay in budget passage and execution is an injustice against our socio-economic progress; and continually, play the paternal role of unifying, protecting and creating an inclusively enabling environment for all her citizens to thrive and prosper. We have three general elections and eleven national budgets before 2030, we must make it less politics and more governance, less talk and more action, less debates and more results, less extraction and more addition, less exclusion and more inclusion, and less deceit and more patriotism. Nigeria must think, innovate and create new products and services that solves our local development problems and are of global value.

We cannot continue to create regional development commissions whereas our nation is in critical need of inclusive development – since the creation of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Northeast Development Commission, and now with the passage of the Southeast Development Commission, these regional development commissions have failed to serve as engine for growth and speedy development – they have failed to address the poverty ratio, unemployment, oil spillage, insecurity, underdevelopment, and legion of other issues bedeviling the regions, yet, these issues are peculiar to all regions in Nigeria and there must be collectively addressed because an insecurity anywhere in Nigeria is a potential threat to the peace, security and development of other parts of Nigeria and the underdevelopment of anywhere in Nigeria is a great security threat to the entire parts of Nigeria.

Who exactly watches the watchers of our governments and developmental progress? Those who establish NGOs and Civil Society Organizations have a responsibility to do so with the intention of filling patriotic and humanitarian gaps in the society. The Corporate Affairs Commission’s database is full of NGOs and CSOs registered for social empowerment of Nigerians, yet many of them are focused on securing international grants for their self-empowerment rather social empowerment. EFCC must monitor and checkmate them, else we will be criticizing our governments in vain, when we the people, in fact are more entrenched in corruption and self-destruction than the greed of our political class.

We can and must strive to achieve the SDGs or substantial components of the agenda. The world is not waiting behind for our development failures, the world cannot continue to spoonfeed us with grants and donations, we as a people and a country must rise up and create a future of our own choosing and effort. As Tony Elumelu said, “the future we all want for ourselves is one of our own making”. All hands must be on desk, our politics must be directed towards modernizing Nigeria instead of cosmetics projects and our continual reward for “political loyalty”.  We the citizens, must patriotically pursue the actualization of the SDGs and a functional Nigeria; and our institutions must work for an efficient and productive Nigeria.

Ekpa Stanley Ekpa, Abuja.