Accolades As FG Launches Evaluation Reports On SDGs 3 and 4.
Stakeholders have commended the Nigerian government for its commitment to strategic country-led evaluation of two priority goals of the Sustainable Development Goals, with the launch of ‘Reports of the Independent Country-Led Evaluation of SDG-3 and SDG-4 in Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.
The reports launched by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were products of series of efforts led by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs in close collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; the Federal Ministries of Health and Education, with the support of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in Nigeria.
SDG 3 and 4 were selected for the evaluation based on Nigeria’s national development priorities as embedded in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP –2017-2020).
The Report on SDG-3 ‘Good Health and Well-being’ documents Nigeria’s journey towards implementing its National Strategic Health Plan. It highlights the role of diverse stakeholders in addressing the systemic gaps and challenges in the health sector with the view of ensuring that Government and development partners are innovative in reshaping evidence-based policies, strategies and investments that will help Nigeria to accelerate progress on SDG-3.
Also, the evaluation on SDG-4 ‘Quality Education’ is a systematic and rigorous policy analysis of the effectiveness, impact and underlying factors influencing progress on the Nigerian Education Sector Strategic Plan 2016–2019.
The findings in the report support further evidence for improving the rights of children to education in Nigeria and how the Government at all levels, along with development partners and civil society can best address systemic gaps and challenges, including the negative effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to progress on our shared commitment to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
The launch of the report is a significant milestone for Nigeria and for Africa being the first ever country-led evaluation of the SDGs in the Global South.
While delivering his keynote address, Vice President Osinbajo noted that successful conclusion of the evaluation process is a confirmation of the fact that Nigeria, through the OSSAP-SDGs has established robust institutional frameworks for effective implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria.
He noted that the launch of the reports marks the end of a long process which began in December 2018, when at the African regional workshop on Sustainable Development Goals evaluation in Addis Ababa, Nigeria showcased the robust institutional frameworks established to guarantee effective implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria.
The Vice President added that since then, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, in close collaboration with relevant ministries, embarked on an independent evaluation of SDG three on quality, health and wellbeing for all and SDG four on qualitative and inclusive education and lifelong learning for all with financial and technical support of UNICEF Nigeria.
“We must also commend the senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, and her team for their hard work, diligence and resourcefulness that have been the hallmarks of their work and that we are all please by these reports,” the Vice President said.
He noted that findings contained in the evaluations reports reinforced the need for all stakeholders – governments, development partners and civil society to work together to address systemic gaps and challenges in the two SDGs which are priority in Nigeria.
He added that the federal government will continue to promote strong partnerships and facilities amongst ministries departments and agencies, and of course between development partners for coordinated implementation of SDGs in Nigeria.
“I look forward to the effective implementation of the key recommendations in the weeks and months to come,” Osinbajo concluded on an optimistic note.
Speaking in the same vein, Ms Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations commended Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals for the initiative that led to the production of the report.
She also commended the United Nations country team for their contributions to the production of the evaluation reports.
According to her, the reports are proofs that Nigeria recognizes that health and education are cornerstones for sustainable and equitable development. Mohammed added that progresses in the two SDGs are crucial to build resilience for global shocks.
She explained that the report sheds some light on key priority areas, which includes improving the governance and accountability of the health care programmes across the country.
“ The report is also very timely as the recommendations on education aligned with the focus areas of the transforming education summit, including an inclusive and equitable education, especially for our girls, Safe and Healthy Schools, foundational skills, and lifelong learning, digital skills and education financing.
“I encourage you all to swiftly turn these recommendations into actionable levels so that we can accelerate our implementation of the 2030 agenda. I congratulate Nigeria for the progress identified in the report.
“Let these results serve as a catalyst for even greater achievements. I hope today’s event will boost our collective efforts to meet the development aspirations of the Nigerian people.” She stated.
Also speaking at the event, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale congratulated Nigeria on behalf of the UN agencies and entities working in Nigeria for successful conclusion of the evaluation.
While praising Prinncess Orelope-Adefulire and her team for producing two critical reports, the UN official added that they highlight the need to significantly increasing public spending in health and education sectors to promote sustainable economic growth.
Schmale canvassed for the whole of government and whole of the society approach to shift the needle towards better development outcomes in the two SDGs.
The UN representative also called for strengthening of accountability mechanism between federal and state governments to improve value for money metrix.
According to him, the two Independent evaluations set the standard for such reports in other parts of the world.
Speaking at the occasion, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, called for an enhanced capacity building for policymakers and strengthening of data systems to support SDG evaluation and reviews.
“As follow-up and review processes are at the heart of global and national efforts to achieve the SDGs, country-led evaluations help to present SDGs data which is high-quality, accessible, timely and reliable. The evaluation process also provides a measure to explain whether progress has been equitable, relevant and sustainable,” said the SSAP-SDGs.
“In this very proud moment, Nigeria has shown that countries can begin to look beyond evaluation in the context of global reporting through Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), to embedding evaluation at the national and local level to achieve transformative development,” she explained.
She commended the Federal Ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Education and Health, Ministers; Chief Executives/Representatives of relevant MDAs; Development Partners and the International Organizations for providing the needed support for the successful conduct of the first independent SDGs evaluation in Nigeria.