Friday, March 06, 2009

It takes everyone to meet the MDG's, a perspective from Nigeria

With only 6 years left, there is a lot of concern over whether the Millennium Development Goals will be met by the target year of 2015. Many countries in the under developed world are not even half way to the goals.

In 2000, the United Nations and it's member states set up the MDG's in a declaration to try to cut human suffering. The goals were meant to halve poverty as well to find solutions to hunger, disease, gender equality, and education.

A story in All Africa has some optimistic views on meeting the MDG's in Nigeria. but the people interviewed say it needs everyone working to meet the goals. In his analysis, Murjanatu Mohammed Abba talked to coordinator of the Millennium Villages Project, Dr Tony Chevron.

In Kaduna, for instance, the programme coordinator of one of the millennium village projects in Africa, popularly known as Pampaida, Dr Tony Chevon, is still of the view that the MDGs can be attained with their kind of organizational plans.

He explained that there are14 of the millennium village projects and two of such projects are situated in Nigeria with one situated in Ikara Local Government Area of Kaduna Dtate and the other one in Akoko North-west Local Government Area of Ondo state.

Taking stock of the progress made by his office, Dr Chevon pointed out that," The purpose of the millennium village project is to eradicate poverty and also assist the rural people in attaining the MDGs and we have been here for about two and a half years and I think with the data we have, we have made milestones as far as some of the goals are concerned, especially the social-related goals like health, water and sanitation, education. I think we made tremendous progress in also the area of agriculture and livelihood".

He reiterated that the goals are achievable, noting that all it requires is concerted efforts by all stakeholders, principally comprising the local communities, local governments as well as the states and federal governments.

According to the programme coordinator, due to the success recorded by the millennium village programme, a lot of important personalities like members of the National Assembly, the Senate and many organizations have visited the project and have given very good remarks. Against that background, he said, the federal government is trying to buy and step up what they have in Pampaida into 111 local government areas across the country.

Preparatory to that, he added that his organization even had to invite some people from outside the country in an effort to achieve that noble objective.

Dr. Chevon, who argued that none of the MGDs are unattainable when all hands are not on deck, also appealed to people at the helm of affair to be transparent and accountable by using the federal government's MDGs intervention fund judiciously to serve the purpose for which it was released .

"We are aware that the federal government is using some funds gotten through the debt relief through the office of the special assistant to the president on the MDGs. And it is releasing a lot of money to the states and also releasing some money to NAPEP to ensure the MDGs are achieved. If such monies are spent by the people who receive such monies, then, there is no reason why Nigeria should not achieve these goals", he argued.

According to Dr.Chevon,"We also need to increase our communication awareness. It's sad that some people at some line ministries don't even know anything about the MDGs. It is not that they cannot know and be part of the process. Somebody has a role to tell the public, tell the people, even the civil servants, what the MDGs are, and how best we can work together to achieve them", he emphasized.

He envisaged: "Therefore, all the MDGs are achievable within the target year of 2015 if we put our hands together and are able to coordinate ourselves more properly. I don't see why we should not achieve these goals. Although we do have challenges, we don't keep a lot of records. So we need to orient ourselves in record keeping. A lot of money is also required to achieve the MDGs .Those saddled with the responsibilities should be transparent and accountable and should use these monies for the purpose for which it is released".

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