N4.2 trillion need annually to achieve MDGs in Nigeria

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MDGs-Boss-Dr-Precious-GbeneolNigeria needs about N4.2 trillion annually for the Federal Government to achieve the Millennium Development Goals MDGs, according to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol.

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She said during the visit of International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials, led by Senior Economist, Cheikh Gueye to the Office, on Thursday in Abuja that about N3 trillion is currently available for development programmes but an additional N1 trillion is needed to close the funding gap across the eight development goals.

She explained that the Office got about N140 billion allocations in the 2012 Debt Relief Gains (DRG) while N160 billion was released in 2013.

She said they could not meet the finance ministry to request for the fund because it was a projection.

Gbeneol said: “The projected cost for meeting the MDGs across board from 2010 to 2015 is N4.2 trillion per annum.

“Whether it will be provided or not, i do not know. But there is a funding gap of N1trillion. I cannot just go to the Ministry of Finance that I needed that sum because it was a projection. In 2012 we got N140 billion and N160 billion in 2013. Inspite of the projections, we were told to cut down our budget.”

She stated that the Federal Government in partnership with the 36 States including the Federal Capital Territory committed N5 trillion to the MDGs compared to N1.2 trillion in 2012.

“Based on the 2012 budget analysis as seen in previous slides, the three tiers of government spend more than N3 trillion annually on the MDGs with an annual gap of about N1 trillion,” she added.

Asked of the Office achievements, Gbeneol rated Yobe State highest in terms of death of under five children. She attributed poor anti-natal to the ranking adding that child mortality in the geo-political zones was worst in the North East and North West with 110.5 and 130.3 percent respectively.

She said South West could be said to have achieved MDGs in infant mortality because children mortality reduced to 37.4 percent.

Earlier, the IMF Team Leader, Cheikh Gueye queried how different programmes and interventions were streamlined with programmes of the Office to achieve the MDGs.

Speaking on poverty reduction, she explained that about 58.4 percent of the budget was spent on the goal. She said the Office partnered the agriculture ministry to support farmers, Conditional Grant Scheme CGS, Conditional Cash Transfer CCT among others.

On health, she said the Office funded National Agency for Control of Aids, National Health Insurance Corporation, partnered UNNPA for family planning as well as Saving the 5 million Lives schemes.

On education, she added that the Office involved in building schools in the 774 local councils, training of secondary school teachers among others.

On the goals that could be achieved by 2015, she said goals 4,5 and 8 can be achieved but goals 7 could also be addressed if the Office intensify its efforts. She admitted there was insecurity in the north as well as cultural influence.

“We are struggling to do more but there is a lot of resistance. They have more local governments. Kano State has for instance 44 LGs, if I’m giving 100m, that means they will get N44 billion. There was protest between State Governors when I was summoned by the Nigeria’s Governors Forum,” she added.

But poverty rate in Lagos, Osun, Imo and some states in the western parts of the country dropped from 50 to 23 percent. Lagos also reduced to about 11.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the IMF had asked the Office to present elaborate report on major interventions such as the SURE-P to present in Washington.

Representative from the World Bank, Dr. Wole Odutolu suggested the Office should develop an evaluation plan to monitor project implemented.

He said the Office should also design strategies to address regional differences in the country as it may affect achieving the MDGs.

The presidential described the visit as such that will enable the Office to take stock on their achievement towards addressing poverty and keeping focus on the 2015 target.

 

Source:WorldStage

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsolahttps://naija247news.com
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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