How Can Nigeria Achieve Sustainable Development Goals?

In 2015, Nigeria and 192 other member countries of the UN adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are 17 interconnected goals targeted at putting an end to poverty, securing the planet, and ensuring that everyone enjoys peace and prosperity by 2030. This article aims to discuss how Nigeria can achieve these 17 SDGs. To do so, we’d outline each one of the 17 SDGs and under each suggest ways Nigeria can achieve these goals. Read on.  

How Can Nigeria Achieve Sustainable Development Goals


How Nigeria can achieve Sustainable Development Goals would be discussed below: 

  • No Poverty

The target of this SDG is to eradicate extreme poverty (i.e. living on less than $1.25 a day) across Nigeria. To achieve this goal, the Nigerian government needs to implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures to provide substantial coverage for the poor and the vulnerable. 

Furthermore, ending poverty in all its form in Nigeria can be achieved by the government creating sound policy frameworks at national and regional levels which are based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies. 

Eradicating poverty in Nigeria can further be achieved if all men and women, particularly the poor and vulnerable, are granted equal rights to economic resources, access to basic services and control over land and other forms of property. Ensuring equal access to appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance, will also help reduce at least half the proportion of the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria. 

  • Zero Hunger 

The Zero Hunger SDG aims to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. For this SDG to become a reality by 2030, there is a need for the Nigerian government to ensure sustainable food production systems and also implement resilient agricultural practices tailored to increase productivity and production. 

Also, agricultural practices that help maintain the Nigerian ecosystem and strengthen the capacity for adaptation to climate change and extreme weather, flooding and other disasters should be implemented. In doing so, land and soil quality in Nigeria would be progressively improved which would double agricultural productivity in the country. 

For the Nigerian government to achieve enhanced agricultural productivity capacity, there should be increased investment in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, and plant and livestock gene banks. In addition, measures that ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives, as well as those that guarantee timely access to market information, should be adopted in the country to help limit extreme food price volatility.  

The Zero Hunger SDG in Nigeria can further be achieved by correcting and preventing trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets. This can be achieved by the parallel elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies and all export measures, per the mandate of the Doha Development Round. The Doha Development Round, the latest round of trade negotiations among member-nations of WTO, aims to improve the trading prospects of developing countries, like Nigeria. 

  • Good Health and Well-being 

The SDG of Good Health and Well-Being is targeted at ensuring healthy living and promoting the well-being of people of all ages. This SDG aims to end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, as well as reduce neonatal mortality. Furthermore, this SDG seeks to drastically reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases, as well as put an end to the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, among other diseases, including waterborne diseases and communicable diseases. 

For Nigeria to achieve this goal by 2030, one suggestion is that the capacity of relevant agencies in the country should be strengthened for early warning, risk reduction, and management of national and global health risks. Furthermore, the federal and regional governments in Nigeria should substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, training, and retention of the health workforce. 

The government and other appropriate bodies in Nigeria should support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for communicable and non-communicable diseases plaguing the country. Another suggestion that can help Nigeria achieve the Good Health and Well-being SDG is for the government to strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Control. In doing this, the health concerns associated with tobacco use in the country can be drastically reduced. 

The Nigerian government, through the appropriate agencies, can further fulfil this SDG by making it easier for Nigerians to access sexual and reproductive healthcare services, as well as integrate reproductive health into national strategies and programmes. 

  • Quality Education

Quality Education as an SDG aims to ensure the inclusive and equitable quality of education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all. Sadly, in Nigeria, there are lots of out-of-school children of primary and secondary school ages. Also, quite a substantial proportion of men and women in Nigeria lack access to affordable and quality technical, vocational, and tertiary education. 

To close the obvious gaps as described above, measures should be put in place to guarantee the elimination of gender disparities in education in Nigeria, as well as ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for vulnerable segments of the population.

Also, the government across the various tiers should build and upgrade education facilities across the country. These facilities should be child, disability and gender sensitive, while also providing a safe, nonviolent, inclusive, and effective learning environment. There should also be a substantial increase of qualified teachers in schools across Nigeria to ensure quality education is achieved in Nigeria. 

Furthermore, measures should be put in place to ensure men and women in Nigeria acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development. To improve the enrolment rate in tertiary institutions in Nigeria, there is a need for more scholarships to be available so that young Nigerians can acquire quality education. 

  • Gender Equality

Gender Equality is an SDG that aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls and end all forms of discrimination and violence against all women and girls. One measure to achieve this SDG is the elimination of harmful practices against women and girls, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation. 

The Nigerian government should ensure women and girls have access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive health rights per the provisions of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action. In addition, reforms that give women equal rights to economic resources and access to ownership and control of properties should be undertaken across the country.  

Another measure that will ensure gender equality is achieved in Nigeria is the adoption and strengthening of sound policies and laws that promote the empowerment of women and gender equality at all levels. The strengthening of the use of enabling technology, particularly ICT, to promote the empowerment of women is another measure that can help achieve this SDG in Nigeria. 

Giving women the chance to fully and effectively participate in leadership positions at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life is another way gender equality in Nigeria can be actualised.

  • Clean Water and Sanitation 

This SDG is aimed at ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation in the country. One of the ways Nigeria can achieve the Clean Water and Sanitation goal is through the implementation of integrated water resources management at all levels. Also, the protection and restoration of water-related ecosystems across Nigeria is another measure to achieve this SDG.  

Another measure that Nigeria can employ to achieve this SDG is substantially increasing water-use efficiency across all sectors. Also, ensuring sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater helps address water scarcity, which in turn substantially reduces the number of Nigerians suffering from water scarcity. 

Another measure Nigeria can employ towards achieving the Clean Water and Sanitation goal is by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing the release of hazardous chemicals and materials into natural water bodies. In doing this, the quality of water is thus improved. 

Supporting and strengthening local community participation at the local level across the country is another strategy to improve water and sanitation management in Nigeria.  

  • Affordable and Clean Energy

This sustainable development goal is targeted at ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services for the country. The Affordable and Clean Energy goal aims to increase the share of renewable energy, double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency and facilitate access to clean energy research and technology. 

To achieve this sustainable development goal, there is a need for the Nigerian government to expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services. 

Nigeria would also need to enhance international cooperation with more developed nations to enable access to clean energy research and technology and facilitate investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology.  

  • Decent Work and Economic Growth 

This SDG aims to promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. There are several strategies Nigeria can employ to achieve this goal of higher levels of economic productivity. Diversification of the economy is one proven strategy Nigeria can use to achieve this goal of decent work and economic growth. 

Also, the promotion of development-oriented policies that support decent job creation, entrepreneurship, and productive activities, in general, can help Nigeria achieve this SDG by the year 2030. In addition, the formalization and growth of SMEs in Nigeria should be encouraged by providing Nigerians with ease of access to financial services. 

Measures that eradicate forced labour, and end modern slavery and human trafficking should be enforced be enforced across the country one of the ways of achieving this SDG in Nigeria. Also, the rights of workers across Nigeria should be protected and the government should ensure the working environments of all workers in the country are safe and secure. 

Sustainable tourism in Nigeria is a surefire strategy that can help Nigeria achieve this SDG before 2030 as it creates jobs and promotes local culture and products. To achieve this, the law-making bodies should devise and implement policies that promote sustainable tourism in Nigeria. 

The relevant bodies in Nigeria should ensure the capacity of domestic financial institutions in Nigeria is strengthened so Nigerians regardless of their economic standing can access banking, insurance, and financial services. 

  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

This SDG is aimed at building resilient infrastructure, promoting sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation to support economic development and well-being. To achieve this SDG in Nigeria, it is pertinent for small-scale industrial and other enterprises to enjoy increased access to financial services as well as be integrated into value chains and markets. 

The Nigerian government would also need to enhance scientific research and upgrade the technological capabilities of the industrial sector. The government should also support domestic technology development by ensuring there is a conducive policy environment for industrial diversification to thrive in Nigeria. 

This SDG goal will further be achieved if access to information and communication technology (ICT) is significantly increased and affordable access to the internet is provided across Nigeria. 

  • Responsible Consumption and Production 

This sustainable development goal is concerned with ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. The Responsible Consumption and Production SDG also aims to achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources, as well as substantially reduce waste generation.  

Some strategies can be employed to achieve this sustainable development goal of Responsible Consumption and Production in Nigeria. One such measure to achieve this SDG in Nigeria is to encourage companies, particularly large and transnational companies, to embrace sustainable practices such as waste recycling.   

Another measure to achieve this sustainable development goal in Nigeria is that there should be the promotion of sustainable public procurement practices in Nigeria. Furthermore, the Nigerian government should rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption. 

The Nigerian government should also ensure the citizenry has the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles that are in line with nature. This will go a long way toward the actualization of this SDG in Nigeria.  

  • Climate Action 

The Climate Action SDG is all about taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. To achieve this sustainable development goal, Nigeria should integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning.

Furthermore, there should be awareness and education of the Nigerian citizenry on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning. The resilience of relevant authorities in Nigeria should be strengthened to have the adaptive capacity to handle climate-related hazards and natural disasters in the country. 

  • Life Below Water 

The sustainable development goal ascribed as Life Below Water is targeted at preventing and significantly reducing marine pollution of all kinds, particularly from land-based activities. This SDG aims to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems, and minimize and minimize the impacts of ocean acidification.

For Nigeria to achieve this SDG, there is a need for effective regulation of harvesting of fish, and ending overfishing and other destructive fishing practices. There is also a need for the enhancement of the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources within the territory of Nigeria.   

It is also important for the Nigerian government to invest in increasing scientific knowledge, developing research capacity and transferring marine technology to improve ocean health and enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of the country.

  • Life on Land 

The SDG of Life on Land is concerned with the protection, restoration, and promotion of the sustainable use of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, particularly forests, wetlands, mountains, and drylands. Additionally, this SDG is concerned with the sustainable management of all types of forests, halting deforestation, restoring degraded forests and increasing afforestation and reforestation, as well as reducing the degradation of natural habitats.  

To achieve this goal in Nigeria, urgent action should be taken to end poaching and the trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna. Also, relevant authorities in Nigeria should address the demand and supply of illegal wildlife products within the country. 

Furthermore, stringent regulations should be put in place to deter the introduction and significantly curtail the effect of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems within Nigeria’s territory.

It is also pertinent for a substantial proportion of financial resources to be raised to cater to the conservation and adequate use of biodiversity and ecosystems in Nigeria. Likewise, there should be a mobilization of significant resources to finance sustainable forest management, conservation, and reforestation. 

  • Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

The objective of this SDG is to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, as well as, provide access to justice and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels by the year 2030. 

To achieve this SDG, non-discriminatory laws and policies should be promoted and enforced, while relevant national institutions would have to be strengthened to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime. 

Nigeria can further achieve the Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions SDG if the citizens enjoy public access to information and their fundamental freedoms are protected. In addition, the rule of law in Nigeria should be upheld across the country and citizens should have equal access to justice. 

To further achieve this SDG, the Nigerian government across all levels should put measures in place to tackle illicit financial and arms flow and combat all forms of organized crime. Also, relevant authorities in Nigeria should be strengthened to effectively discharge the role of recovering and returning stolen assets. 

Another strategy that can help Nigeria achieve this SDG is measures put in place to tackle corruption and bribery across all levels. In like vein, developing effective, accountable, and transparent institutions across Nigeria is yet another way for the Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions SDG to be achieved in Nigeria. 

Other strategies towards achieving this particular SDG in Nigeria include providing legal identities for all citizens (including birth registration) and ensuring responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels.  

  • Partnerships for the Goals

Partnerships for the Goals is Goal 17 of the sustainable development goals which is concerned with strengthening the means of implementing and revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development. The scope of this SDG covers finance, technology, capacity building, trade, and systemic issues. 

In the finance aspect of this SDG, developed countries assist developing nations, like Nigeria, with financial resources for reasons ranging from strengthening domestic resource mobilization to attaining long-term debt sustainability. With the funds gotten from developed nations, Nigeria can reduce the debt distress it faces through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief, and debt restructuring. 

In the technology aspect of this sustainable development goal, Nigeria can benefit from the development, transfer, dissemination, and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies from developed nations. 

In terms of capacity building for this sustainable development goal, the Nigerian government can implement effective and targeted capacity-building plans assisted by the more developed nations. 

The trade aspect of Partnerships for the Goals SDG will help Nigeria significantly increase exports and enjoy the timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access. Nigeria also stands to enjoy a universal, rules-based, open, nondiscriminatory and equitable multilateral system under the World Trade Organization. 

The systemic issues aspect of this sustainable development goal has to do with policy and institutional coherence, multi-stakeholder partnerships, and data monitoring and accountability. In terms of policy and institutional coherence of this SDG, Nigeria can establish and implement policies for the eradication of poverty and sustainable development. 

In terms of multi-stakeholder partnerships of systemic issues of this SDG, Nigeria can benefit from the mobilization and transfer of knowledge, expertise and technology brought about by the global partnership of UN member-states.  

In terms of the data, monitoring, and accountability aspect of the systemic issues of this SDG, Nigeria, through the support developing countries enjoy in terms of capacity building support, can significantly increase the availability of timely and reliable data relevant to national contexts. 

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