The UN Children Funds (UNICEF) says Nigeria has a key role to play in the achievement of the Global Goals, otherwise known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Mr Mohamed Malick, when he visited the governor of Katsina state Aminu Masari on Sunday, said that “UNICEF considers Nigeria as important country because of its demographic size and influence in African continent.”
“In view of the influence and leadership role that Nigeria plays in the Sub-Saharan region, we should not look at it as the world problem, but the world solution. ’If we address issues like out of school children, high maternal and infant mortality, malnutrition and violence against children in Nigeria, we will succeed in other parts of the world by over 60 per cent,’’ he said.
According to him, “if Nigeria does not make SDGs by 2030, no country will make it…whatever success we have here, will serve as a blueprint to other countries, and will help them to attain the SDGs.’
He, therefore, urged all stakeholders to continue to join hands to strengthen immunization in Nigeria in order to achieve that in other countries.
He urged governments, communities and other stakeholders “to consider issues that affect children as issues of common concern of the entire society’’.
He urged various state governments to intensify effort toward investing in human capital development by prompt release of counterpart funds to for future development.
‘’We truly believe that development is not only mineral resources, infrastructure or financial resources. The most important part is the human capital development which means having a population that is healthy, well nourished, well educated,’’ he said.
Malick said that UNICEF was ready to assist state governments towards achieving the set objective.
Responding, Governor Masari while commending UNICEF for its continuing support to Nigeria’s country plan, said that the state government would continue to invest in education as well as priorities the wellbeing and health of children.