The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SSAP-SDGs), Princess Adejoke Adefulire, has expressed optimism that Nigeria is on track to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
She stated this in Abuja, recently, in an interview with newsmen in the twilight of President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term in office.
Princess Adefulire explained that the SDGs are a universal call to action, adopted by the United Nations to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
She continued that in line with this declaration, the Federal Government of Nigeria has taken proactive measures by hatching out strategic intervention programmes to include; School Feeding Programme, Social Intervention Programme, Tradermoni and Anchor Borrowers Scheme, among others to economically empower the people.
She reiterated that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration has been passionate about poverty reduction and restoration of enduring peace in the country, hence has fashioned out strategic plans towards alleviating the suffering of the people, as well as emancipating them from endemic poverty.
According to her, the SDGs are anchored on five pillars: People, Prosperity, Peace, Planet and Partnership, adding that the 5 pillars are interdependent pillars as one cannot exist without the other.
She expressed delight that the School Feeding Programme had paid off and translated into an astronomical increase in primary school enrolment, across the country and urged parents to take advantage of the programme to educate their children.
The Senior Special Assistant explained that her office signed an MOU on equal access to justice with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in 2017, which provides free legal services for the indigent and less privileged in the society, adding that this is aimed at giving voice to the voiceless to ensuring that their rights are not infringed upon.
She also informed newsmen that the President inaugurated a Presidential Committee on Elimination of Drug Abuse led by Retd. Brigadier Gen.Buba Marwa, of which she is a member.
She said that the Committee was meant to provide strategic direction and guidance as well as add impetus to the war against drug abuse; she stressed that the Committee has since swung into action interfacing with relevant stakeholders across the country to chart the way forward for the elimination of this menace.
Adejoke Adefulire further charged parents to live up to their responsibilities by closely supervising their children, giving them parental guidance in order to keep them on the straight and narrow.
She spoke on maternal and newborn deaths and revealed that the Federal Government in collaboration with Coca Cola has initiated a programme tagged “Safe Birth Initiative” aimed at bringing to the barest minimum, deaths of babies from year 0-5 and maternal mortality arising from complications.
She also added that the initiative focuses on strengthening the capacity of public hospitals to ensure safe births and reduce high ratios of maternal and newborn deaths in Nigeria.
She described it as unacceptable for a woman to die while giving birth and advised expectant mothers to make it a point of duty to always go for antenatal.