If Nigeria fails SDG, Africa will not make it – UNICEF

Country Representative of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Mr. Mohammed Mallick Fall, has hinged the success of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) in the Sub-Saharan Africa on the positive contributions of Nigeria.

Fall stated this in Akure yesterday during a courtesy visit to Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) at the Governor’s Office, demanding adequate security for UNICEF staff in Akure Field Office.

According to him, Nigeria, which is regarded the Giant of Africa, has a lot of existing programmes and projects that are in tandem with SDG Vision 2030 and largely make it a huge reality.

He said Ondo, among other states in the country, had developed robust social protection policies, such as the Agbebiye, Mother and Child Initiative, Free School Shuttle Buses, Kaadi Igbe-Ayo, just to mention few, that make it stand out.

He scored the state highest in health, child survival, effort on nutrition, sanitation and education, which he noted are driven towards human capital development that other sectors rely largely on its potency, adding: “All these are resourceful to the actualisation of SDG Vision 2030. We must utilise them to attain the goals.

“If Nigeria does not make SDG, Africa will not make it, especially the Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Fall expressed readiness to collaborate with the state, so that other states in the federation would see it as a model, to promote “hand-washing” campaigns and drastically reduce the incidence of open defecation.

He disclosed that regular hand washing could reduce the risk of contracting diarrhea by 40 per cent, warning: “All investment might be lost without having good sanitation.

“With joint effort, we look at better sanitation in the state. “Development should not be only driven by external factors, but also from the resources generated from within. There is a more than enough in this state, we want to partner, so as to build on them,” he said.

On the kidnap of the Akure Field staffs some months ago in Osun State, Fall implored the Ondo State government to provide adequate security for the safety of its staff.

The UNICEF boss said their protection is necessary, so that the field office, which he adjudged as the best among the nine field offices in the country, would continue to discharge its duties effectively and efficiently.

Akeredolu assured that the state government would continue to build on existing successes and partner with UNICEF to actualise the SDG goals.

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