GCAP Nigeria Declaration On The Post-2015 Development Agenda



GCAP NIGERIA DECLARATION ON THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA
Abuja, 1st May 2013 facebook: GCAP MDGsNigeria, twitter:@gcapmdgs Nigeria

Introduction

As the 2015 target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, there are a series of debates and processes at both the international and country level on the content and form that the post-2015 development agenda should take. In Nigeria, several consultations have taken place in the course of formulating a Nigerian agenda. One of these is the GCAP Nigeria organized National CSOs Consultations on the Post‐2015 Development Agenda held on March 14, 2013. The event which brought together more than 80 civil society organizations, youth groups, student unions, International NGOs, faith based organizations, trade unions and the media is part of the process of formulating the position of civil society with regard to the post‐2015 development agenda and providing a direction for Nigeria.Prior
to this, state level consultations in the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja had taken place, involving online media engagement with the ‘My World’ Survey as well as the physical administration of a questionnaire and the organisation of focus group discussions on the post‐2015 development agenda and Nigeria’s effort towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal 2015.

GCAP Nigeria is part of the global alliance to push for the acceleration of the MDGs and the inclusion of the voice of civil society and that of the ordinary citizens on the countdown to the MDGs and post 2015 development agenda. We are part of the post 2015 national working group, the OSSAP-MDGs consultative group, and the National CSOs Leaders Forum convened UN Millennium Campaign in December, 2012. We also participated in the Africa Regional Consultations organized UNDP/AUC/ UNECA in Dakar, Senegal in December 2012, and the
National Youth Consultations as well as National Consultations on the post 2015 development agenda held on February 14, 18 & 19 respectively.

is important for the voices of Nigeria civil society to be heard loudly in the process of formulating the post‐2015 development agenda as a successor framework to the current MDGs. The appointment of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Nigeria’s Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Hajia Amina Mohammed a former Senior Special Assistant to the President on the MDGs as members of the High Level Panel (HLP) on the post 2015 development agenda set up the UN Secretary General is an opportunity that must be leveraged to include civil society’s perspective from Nigeria in the global agenda. After all, Nigeria has the distinct record of housing the largest community of Africa’s poorest in its territory.

GCAP Nigeria is an alliance of organizations, unions and professional associations thinking globally but campaigning locally to see a Nigeria where poverty, hunger and preventable
diseases are eradicated in a sustainable manner. Join us to press our government to‘Make our money work for us’.

Nigeria and Current Development Realities

With a population of over 167 million people, Nigeria is endowed with immense human and material resources,sufficient for achieving sustainable development. The country is Africa’s largest oil producer, a major contributor to peacekeeping in the region, playing a central role in the West Africa regional body, ECOWAS and contributing 70% to its budget in addition to hosting the Secretariat in Abuja. However, despite her prominent position in the African continent and impressive economic growth rate engineered by the country’s oil economy, the impact on reducing poverty has been disappointing as revealed by recent statistics from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The country manifests an array of contradictions
including:

is a rich nation of poor people with over 100 million people (69% of the population) living in poverty, and grappling with decaying infrastructure.
• Despite being the sixth largest producer of oil in the world, Nigeria imports fuel and contends with high cost of petroleum products
has about 79 million hectares of arable land and over three million hectares of irrigable land and yet is a net importer of major food products thus fuelling inflation and posing the risk of food crisis as oil imports decline.
• Although a main generator of foreign exchange and government revenues, the Niger Delta region remains impoverished and suffers from environmental degradation and pollution due to lack of standards in oil exploitation.
• The country has a high inequality ratio with a GINI Index of 49% and less than 7% of are elected into political offices – one of the lowest in West Africa. Although current efforts are geared towards increasing the number of appointed to key ministerial positions.

Over the past thirteen years, Nigeria has had a consistent high growth rate of at least 6% annually. Over the same period however, the incidence of poverty has grown from 54.4% to 69.1%. The country’s poverty reduction strategies have therefore failed although there have been significant investments in MDGs-related sectors following the negotiated debt relief from the Paris Club in 2005. The fact of the matter is that the level of investment in the social sector and in infrastructure has been insufficient to guarantee that the pace of progress would enable us achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. It is imperative that we increase investments at all levels of governments to ensure that the targets are achieved.

Nigeria has the largest number of poor and vulnerable people in Africa. It is therefore not surprising that human, ’s and children’s rights still widely violated. Nigerian civil
society is of the considered view that our development path has not been promoting an inclusive and equitable development process. The country is confronted with growing insecurity and huge inequalities which attest to a failed growth‐driven development concept. As the 2015 MDGs deadline draws closer, and the debate for a more ambitious but realistic successor to the MDGs in the post 2015 development agenda gathers momentum, GCAP believes that the government of Nigeria must begin to see the struggle against poverty as central for the survival of its citizens, not just as a daily survival but a way to give its people a feeling of belonging to the entity called Nigeria. Nigeria must prioritize all workable approaches to ending poverty and the focus of the country must be to end poverty in the shortest possible time. We believe that achieving the MDGs requires collective efforts and we strongly advocate for a shift from a growth‐only oriented development paradigm to a new development agenda that can spur sustainable development, poverty eradication and drastic reduction of inequalities. This is the basis on which civil society in Nigeria is making the following demands:

GCAP Nigeria Demands
Governance and Accountability:
• The Federal, State and Local Governments of Nigeria should broaden and institutionalize the effective participation of the people, including groups, minority groups and the youth in governance processes beginning from the phase of development planning and budgeting to its actual implementation of programmes and their monitoring and evaluation.
• The Federal, State and Local Governments should vigorously take up the fight against public corruption as a tool for poverty alleviation by putting in place more assertive laws and regulations to improve the operations of accountability mechanisms and to ensure public officers
make effective utilization of public resources.
• All levels of Government must prioritise the promotion of transparency and accountability in public life by making the fight against corruption comprehensive and all encompassing. There must be sanctions for those who abuse public trust reposed on them. To check the current immunity of corrupt public officers, the immunity clause in the Constitution should be reviewed to hold public officers while in office.
• Public authorities must strive to massively increase investment in infrastructural development – roads, power, water and sanitation, education and health sectors as a strategy to create improved conditions for people-centered development.
• Civil society, communities, the media and opinion leaders must intensify the campaign against corruption and monitor public authorities to ensure that the impunity enjoyed by corrupt public officials ends. It is this public campaign that will create traction for liberating the resources to implement Vision 202020 into which the MDG’s had already been integrated.

Insecurity and the poverty nexus:
• There is a positive correlation between the growing incidence of poverty in the country and the spread of violence and insecurity. It is imperative that the improvement of the security situation in the country is seen as part of our poverty eradication strategy. Governments should
improve security in the country by fostering and broadening inter‐ethnic and inter‐religious dialogue and strive to improve social cohesion.
• There should be a “Marshall Plan” developed for those parts of the country that suffer from the most acute levels of poverty and there should be massive investment in social welfare services to ensure social security for vulnerable and disadvantaged constituencies/ populations.
• There is urgent need for security sector reform that improves the rules of engagement for security forces to prevent extra judicial killing and violations of human rights. At the same time, communities and their leaders should be encouraged to play a more proactive role in monitoring the security situation in their neighbourhoods and community policing and peoples’ ownership of the security processes should be strengthened.

Hunger, Food & Nutrition:
• All necessary efforts should be made to promote agricultural development and to ensure Nigeria regains its supremacy as a major food producer in the world by allocating at least 10% of the national budget to agriculture as stipulated in the Maputo Declaration to which the
country is a signatory.
• In accelerating agricultural development, it is important to ensure proper coordination and the respect of human rights including the right to food, right to land, access to other natural resources and the right to good governance.
• The strategy for accelerated agricultural development should be based on improved support to small scale agriculture and farmers. especially women in agriculture.
• In so doing, adequate investment in agricultural infrastructure is necessary and addressing and promptly responding to the challenges of climate change is .

Inequalities:
• The government should ensure the full implementation of 35% affirmative action policies, primarily women’s representation and participation in politics and public offices
the establishment and enforcement of legal quotas at all levels of decision-making and political
parties.
• Creating an enabling environment and promoting the political participation of young people and all vulnerable groups including the physically challenged in the society
• Ensure that gender is mainstreamed into all policies at national state and local government levels based on specific needs of the people.
• Stipulating marriage age of 18 and above, in the national laws including stiffer penalties for offenders.
• Publishing gender and culture sensitive data and evidence from research and using the available data for policy formulation.
• Promoting equal opportunity and improved access to free formal, vocational and other forms of education at all levels for all regardless of age, sex or gender

Education:
• Prioritization, expansion and implementation of a education system that promotes peace and diversity and responds to current development needs of the people.
• A focus on reducing the learning gap between the poor and rich by targeting action on funding (to reach the poorest), (ii) children with disabilities, (iii) girls, (iv) ethnic minorities and () children in conflict or emergency areas.
• Promoting strategies for poverty reduction, improving equity, access and learning outcome by improving the of teachers training.
• Enhance community participation in improving demand, access and learning outcomes as well as reviewing existing curriculum to ensure more emphasis on vocational skills for self employment after graduation.
• Improved infrastructure, better teacher motivation and incentives

Health:
• Improvement in the health sector to improve maternal and child health, reduce , malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases in the country and provide workable health insurance schemes for citizens.
• Nigeria should expedite action to pass an all inclusive National Health Bill to create a conducive legal framework for practitioners and stakeholders in the industry. The current National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) should be strengthened or revised to create increased
accessibility for all.
• Strengthening NHIS, civil registration, and vital statistics, down to the district level and Community Health Centres, is a prerequisite for measuring and improving equality in the Health sector.
• Reducing the burden of major non communicable disease should be achieved by focusing on cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes (the four NCDs causing the most deaths), and mental illness.
• Efforts to accelerate progress on the health MDG agenda should build on national and global efforts that have already resulted in significant progress in reducing child and maternal deaths and controlling HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases.

Population dynamics:
• Population control must be taken seriously as part of Nigeria strategy for development. Nigeria has a very high growth rate which should be curbed to allow for better planning and training to encourage sustainable growth.
• There is an urgent need to review the current population policy of Nigeria to accommodate current realities
• There is a need to critically consider how population dynamics affect resource exploitation and the environment
• There is a need to create awareness concerning the problems of population dynamics
• The realities of population dynamics should be considered in the process of development planning
• We need to ensure that the post 2015 will take into consideration the population issues

Environmental sustainability: climate change adaptation/mitigation:
• Strengthening of the existing institutions including adequate funding, to help in adequately
implementing sustainable environmental policies and regulations.
• Embracing Accountability and transparency in the sector.
• The government should promote policies and programmes that encourage the efficient use of environmental resources in a sustainable manner.
• Full implementation of existing environmental policies and legislations including but not limited to the national climate change policy, the amended NESREA Bill as well as the
REDD+ policy.
• Improved climate change awareness creation, capacity building and environmental education in schools.
Employment/Job creation:
• Improved access to quality formal, vocational and other forms of education at all levels to make youth employable
• Improved educational system that meets current development needs with emphasis on skill acquisition.
• Value re-orientation and tackling corruption in employment.
• Maintaining a data base on unemployed Nigerians which should be reviewed periodically.

Endorsed By UN Millennium Campaign (UNMC), ActionAid Nigeria, Christian Aid Nigeria, Nigeria Network of NGOs, Save the Children International, Civil Society Action Coalition on Education For All, Civil Society Coalition on Poverty Eradication, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center, Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development, YouthAdolescent, Reflection and Action Centre, Centre for Democracy and Development, Advocates for Human Rights, Youth Advocacy Health Foundation, Campaign 2015+ International, Beyond 2015, Centre for community health and development International,Women, Widows and Orphans Development Initiative, International Federation of Women Lawyers, Education as a Vaccine, Centre for Development Initiatives, Center for Peace Research and Development, United Action for Democracy, Women Environmental Programme, Community Action for Popular Participation, Justice Development and Peace Commission, Africa Woman and Child Advancement Initiative, Grassroots Community Dev. Initiative, Quality Care Initiative, Social Action, Ogoni Solidarity Forum, Nigerian Girls Guide, Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, National Association of Nigerian , Publish What You Pay, Community Development Watch, CLEEN Foundation, Centre for Community Excellence, West African Civil Society Forum, Center for Women Studies, Centre for Youth Empowerment and Development, Society for Monitoring and Evaluation of Nigeria, Nigerian Youth Network on , Youth Advocates for Health and Development in Nigeria, National Association of Nigerian Students, Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress and many other state CSOs.

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