Source: Small Island Developing States
23 January 2019: A conference in Kaduna State, Nigeria, highlighted the role of subnational governments in SDG implementation. Governor Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai briefed participants at the ‘SDGs Acceleration Conference 2019’ on his administration’s actions that make Kaduna an “SDG pacesetter.”
El-Rufai said the Kaduna State Development Plan is aligned with the SDGs. He informed participants that his administration: has adopted the SDG targets and indicators; is investing in data collection to track progress; and is focusing on jobs, prosperity and social security while ensuring that no one is left behind. He also noted efforts to increase and prioritize capital and recurrent expenditure to enhance the state’s budget performance and develop an integrated, sustainable infrastructure to invest in the agricultural sector and support the state’s role as an investment destination.
Lack of stability and the absence of an enabling environment are two key reasons why poverty remains.
The Conference took place from 22-23 January in Kaduna State, Nigeria. It aimed to strengthen partnerships to fast-track SDG implementation, and showcased efforts by local and state governments to support progress on the SDGs.
In her remarks at the Conference, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed observed that borders make no difference to climate change, migration and terrorism. She said lack of stability and the absence of an enabling environment are two key reasons why poverty remains. Underscoring the impact of inequalities, she added that millions go to bed hungry, even as the world has sufficient food to feed a population double its size.
Also on SDG 2 (zero hunger), participants learned that 47 percent of Kaduna State’s under-five children are stunted and 34 percent are underweight. Despite these statistics, participants stressed that it is possible to change the narrative for children in Kaduna State through full implementation of the SDGs, including in partnership with organizations like the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Participants emphasized the importance of health interventions targeting the poorest children, describing such actions as both a moral obligation and smart policy. [UN News Story] [Kaduna State Government Website] [Medium News Story] [UN Information Centre Lagos Press Release]