BEING A COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE MEETING OF YOUNG LEADERS RIGHTS AND PATRIOTIC INITIATIVE OF NIGERIA (YOLPIN) FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST, 2019, IN ABUJA.
Considering the importance of the 17 Global Goals to the world, Africa and Nigeria in particular as a call to action to end poverty, safeguard the planet and ensure that all people enjoy prosperity and peace, with the aim to tackle the root causes of poverty and unite the world together for positive change, YOLPIN deems it necessary for Nigerian youths and YOLPIN patriots to deeply understand the role we could play as contributory efforts in meeting the targets of the goals and to also identify opportunities that each of these goals presents.
Sustainable Development Goals are vehicles through which any serious nation can deliver development within a timeframe to its citizens in both rural and urban centers and bridge the wide gap between the rich and the poor in our society. With over 10 more years to go in meeting the SDGs targets in Nigeria, we understand how important it is for Nigerian youths to know what role to play and what opportunities to tap from the 17 goals. YOLPIN as a youth focused organization, selected some of the goals for discuss and analysis by young professionals to help drive the process of achieving the goals in Nigeria.
Goal 1: No Poverty
This goal seeks to end poverty in all its forms in Nigeria. This mean we have to ensure no one lives on less than $1.25 (about N500 unofficial rate) a day. This includes the food you eat and every other basic expense in a day. This may seem very cheap for those in the urban centres, but very difficult for the rural dwellers where most of the population of the nation dwells.
Goal 2: Zero Hunger
To end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. This means we have to be able to adequately feed ourselves as a people and feed rightly. We should be able to eat what is good for our health, body and mind and not just eat what we see or what is available or brought to us from other parts of the world.
Goal 3: Good health and Well Being.
To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. This means we have to change the narrative of these figures; for every child born, 29 die at birth, 37 in 1000 children die before they are even born, 89 out of 1000 children never make it to their fifth birthday, children born into poverty are almost twice as likely to die before the age of 5 as against those from wealthier families. There are 3.2 million Nigerians living with HIV as at 2018, only 1 million HIV infected Nigerians are on ART, more than a hundred Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer, 294 per 1000 persons are covered by Health Insurance annually, with about 100 million malaria cases and about 300,000 deaths annually, Nigeria has the highest number of malaria casualties worldwide, aside the high rate of suicide and accidents on our road. All these cannot be changed by mere wishful thinking, but practical efforts and commitment that indicate how important the lives of citizens mean to government at all levels.
Goal 4: Quality Education.
To ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all, signify deliberate investment in education without drawing back or politics of any sort, in revamping our primary education through the UBE, make education free at both primary and secondary levels and very affordable at the tertiary level, build more vocational and technical training centres for all persons, including people living with disabilities.
Goal 5: Gender Equality
To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, denote that women should not be treated differently from men on any subject matter, create environment to make them thrive and engage in productive activities with dignity, and that the girl child should not be left behind in the scheme of family and the society.
Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.
To ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all implies that every community should have access to safe and drinkable water, adequate and equitable sanitation for all, end open defecation, and good management of water to avoid scarcity.
Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy.
To ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all, by investing in the energy sector, research, development and make this energy available to all.
Goal 13: Climate Action.
To take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact, which means we should have good understanding of climate change and what dangers it constitute to life, environment and well-being and how we can drastically reduce it by mitigation or adaptation, everywhere.
Goal 16: Peace Justice and Strong Institution.
To promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build inclusive institutions at all levels. This implies promotion of rule of law, justice for both the low and the high, end all forms of human rights abuse, exploitation, trafficking, reduce illicit financial and arms flows, reduce bribery and corruption in all its forms, among others.
Recommendations and Conclusion:
Goal 1: No Poverty.
(i) According Patriot ANDREW Amos Ugbede-Ojo, “Government should develop infrastructural facilities to make citizens, especially the youths productive and be able to engage in entrepreneurial activities with little capital”.
(ii) sensitization/education on how the youths can maximize opportunities around them for self sustenance.
(iii) Creativity of the youths should be channeled towards positive income generating activities that can serve as source of income for themselves and others and Government should create jobs and enabling environment for private businesses to thrive.
(iv) Government and citizens should sincerely do everything possible to reduce insecurity and youths should avoid being used for destructive activities and exposure to effects of climate change such as flooding, erosion, etc, to avoid economic shocks and disaster.
Goal 2: Zero Hunger.
Patriot Peter Eze and others recommended as follows:
(1) You have to secure life to secure foods; youths should fight insecurity and sees agriculture as a lucrative venture with many value chain opportunities.
(ii) States and local governments should build ranches to open up the livestock sector and create jobs through the value chains.
(iii) Vast fallow land between State boundaries should be allocated to youths and women for agricultural purpose to boost crop production.
(iv) Government at all levels should woo investor in the agricultural sector and create a business friendly environment and policies.
(v) Patriot Abah Chobe and others recommended quality and improved seeds and other farm inputs should be made available and accessible to farmers at very low prices.
Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being.
Oluwaferanmi Adeyemo and others recommended thus:
(i) That the Federal Government must engage in meaningful collaborative effort with state and local governments to improve the Nigeria’s healthcare system. The era of paying lip service to healthcare should be done away with.
(ii) Health care management systems should be developed and put in place in all segments of the health systems.
(iii) Individuals, especially the youths should be trained and retrained with digital tools and technology deployment to ensure proper reorientation with new integrated healthcare approaches.
(iv) Advocacy and adequate health facilities to promote the habit of periodic medical check-up while making sure that the right equipments are provided.
(v) Creation of youth-led groups and organizations to monitor healthcare policies and their implementation.
Goal 4: Quality Education.
Miss Pearl Chigbuzor Alaegbu and others recommended as follows:
(i) Improved funding for the educational sector at all levels.
(ii) Recruitment of trained teachers and provisions of learning facilities/equipment at all levels of learning.
(iii) Adequate attention to vocational/technical trainings for availability of industrial skills and expertise.
(iv) More efforts to scale up the school feeding programme to motivate pupils towards learning.
(v) Sensitization on the importance of education, discouragement of get rich quick by the youths and strict penalty for child marriage.
(vi) Appointment of passionate professionals to man the educational institutions and not for political reward.
Goal 5: Gender Equality
Patriot Paul Cletus and others recommended that:
(i) Women should seek for opportunities and push themselves forward in the society and avoid women fighting women.
(ii) Government should keep to its promised 35% affirmative quota to give women effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.
(iii) Women participation in active politics and adoption of sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality, criminalizing of forced/early child marriage and the empowerment of women and girls.
Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.
Patriot Awulu Lucky Ajeka and others recommended thus;
(i) Improved budget for water and sanitation by government at all levels:
(ii) Availability of database to guide in equal distribution of projects and improve maintenance and accountability of existing ones. YOLPIN is embarking on a database of communities without safe and drinkable water in Nigeria.
(iii) Communities should be carried along to ensure good location for project citing, for accessibility and avoidance of communal conflicts.
(iv) Communities should make their needs known to the government and equally make effort in their capacity to improve the sanitation of their environment.
Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
Patriot Daniel Nweke and others recommended as follows:
(i) Adoption of technological innovations of the youths by the government and support from indigenous companies and patriotic individuals.
(ii) Business friendly policies by the government to attract investors in the renewable energy sector and reduce the high rate of gas glaring in the country which amounts to billions of dollars yearly and to fully maximize the sector.
(iii) Promotion and investment in renewable energy such as (a) Homebiogas which produces anaerobic digesters that convert organic waste into methane gas and liquid fertilizer. (b) Floating solar mounted on structure that floats on a body of water like an artificial basin or lake. (c) waterotor technology which harvest electricity from slow moving water. (d) pavegen energy, a technology that developed paving slabs to convert energy from people’s footsteps into small amounts of electrical power for home use.
(iv) Affordable cooking gas and other alternative sources of energy such as briquettes.
Goal 13: Climate Action
(i) Improved education, awareness and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, early warning, adaptation and impact reduction.
(ii) A policy framework and enforcement of the ‘fall a tree, plant two’ programme, to checkmate the effect of deforestation by individuals, government and private construction companies.
(iii) Government should take action that prevents repeated occurrence of flooding, erosion, desertification, deforestation with a long term plan.
(iv) Affordable alternative cooking energy for those in rural communities such as cooking gas, briquettes.
Goal 16: Peace Justice and Strong Institutions.
(i) Promotion and domestication of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) by all State government and better welfare and rehabilitation of prisoners.
(ii) Strengthening the anticorruption agencies to fight sincere and non-selective fight against bribery and corruption.
(iii) Strict adherence to the rule of law, legislations and policies that promote national unity and cohesion.
(iv) Strengthen the National Human Rights Commission and meaningfully support rights promoting NGOs.
(v) Provide free national identification for all citizens, strengthen security agencies.
In conclusion, no nation develop by making wishes, but by the commitment and deliberate effort of the government at all levels and to do the needful to develop, promote and strengthen institutions, provide policy direction and agenda setting capable of transforming Nigeria to become the bride of the world and responsible citizenry who seek to improved on their peoples’ welfare. In all of these, youth should play active role and should always be given the opportunity to implement their creative ideas.
DATED THIS 18TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2019.
Patriot ANDREW Amos Ugbede-Ojo,
President, Young Leaders Rights and Patriotic Initiative of Nigeria (YOLPIN)
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, +2348065611933