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UN raises alarm over Nigeria’s SDGs 2030 Targets

The United Nations, UN, on Wednesday said Nigeria may not reach many of its Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, by 2030, lamenting that the situation has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Matthias Schmale, disclosed this in his speech at the opening ceremony of a three-day capacity building workshop for the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC’s educators on the UN Strategic Development Cooperation Framework, UNSDCF.

The empowerment was organised in collaboration with International Labour Organisation, ILO, with the support from the UN office in Nigeria, to understand the SDGs and the reforms going on in the United Nations.

While emphasising on the significance of the training, Schmale who was represented by ILO Senior Specialist in Workers’ Activities, Country Office, Abuja, Ms Inviolata Chinyangarara, said: “As it stands, Nigeria is not on track to reach many of its SDGs by 2030, a situation compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine. With women and youths hit especially hard by growing unemployment, spiraling inflation, and insufficient access to quality education and health services, we must take a fresh look at how best to support the most vulnerable in society.

“Our guiding principle is to leave no one behind. A business-as-usual approach of small-scale interventions is unlikely to significantly move the needle in a country with a GDP of USD $432billion.

“The Cooperation Framework will focus on a number of Transformative Initiatives that will be catalytic in the lives of Nigerian people. We must think big and aim high if we are to make a difference to the 100 million living below the poverty line, the 53 percent of youth who are unemployed, and the 18 million children out of school.

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“The UN system in Nigeria is fully committed to bringing about sustainable economic growth, decent work for all, gender equality, a protected environment, more equitable access to basic services, and opportunities for meaningful, participatory engagement for every one of this nation’s citizens.”

Also in an interview, General Secretary, NLC, Mr. Emmanuel Ugboaja, said the workshop was a formal effort to get the workers through the trade unions to be involved and acquainted with the works of UN in the country.

He explained that “This is the initial take off to build the capacity of trade unions to understand the workings of the UN particularly with regards to development goals.”