By CHRIS OCHAYI
ABUJA—The Federal Government yesterday reiterated the commitment of the country to meet the 2015 deadline for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, set by the United Nation.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol, who declared this at the MDGs Sensitisation Workshop on Effectively Communicating, said as a developing country, Nigeria would ensure it attained the MDG gaols.
Represented by Babalola Oluwole Lateef, a Director in the agency, Dr. Gbeneol said: “The MDGs also represent an agenda-setting for transforming the living conditions of peoples at the turn of the third millennium.
“MDGs are not new in the sense that they relate to policies, programmes and investments that successive governments have been making for decades and most importantly the transformation agenda of Mr. President.
“However, the specific targets, international collaboration and clear timelines have provided an invaluable reference point for ensuring that efforts are relentlessly re-kindled and continuously re-appraised for better focus and best practices in service delivery for our people.
“As we race to the 2015 deadline, we must not lose sight of the imperative of focused collective and collaborative endeavours targeted at accelerating progress towards the attainment of the MDGs.
“With about three years to go, it is important to remain focused and adhere strictly to defined timelines in project planning and execution based on the needs assessment and baseline facility inventory in the Nigerian MGDs information inventory.”
In her remarks, the Deputy Director, Education and Head of Sectors, Mrs Fati Ahmad-Jiddum, noted that the grassroots should be carried along in MDGs programmes and policies to enable the nation beat the deadline.
She said it was not so difficult to achieve, as it was all about social service delivery, stressing that it was the responsibility of the state and local government to join forces to achieve the objective.
She further stated that if participation by all and sundry was ensured, the remaining three years to the stated date of actualising the set goals and objectives of the MDGs scheme would be actualised
“If participation is ensured, three years is more than enough for Nigeria to ensure all children are in school, primary health care facilities should be within reach of communities so we need the collaboration of all stakeholders especially the media to pass our message to the people which are at the grassroot,” she added.
Commenting on the activities and effectiveness of the MDGs at the grass roots, the Deputy Director, Publication, National orientation Agency, NOA, Mr. Remi Omowani, said the best way to target the grassroots was to have community engagement and dialogue, since, according to him, the MDGs are about people.