Main Aspect Of The Post-2015 Of The MDGs Is To Complete The Unfinished Business—Okonjo Iweala

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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

 

The Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has said that a key aspect to the post-2015 of the MDGs is to complete the unfinished business, the Minister made the assertion, while addressing the participants in  at the post 2015 MDGs consultative forum in Abuja.


Dr. Okonjo Iweala noted that a key aspect to the Post-2015 Agenda should be to complete the “unfinished business” started under the MDGs framework as poverty eradication should remain in focus, whilst recognising the new global challenges a decade and a half on from the inception of this original framework.

In this vein, she said the augmentation to the current development in Post 2015 would “ensure an increased focus on enablers of economic development, also update current targets such that they are relevant to a Post-2015 world”.

Citing example of the targets set on education for example, the Minister of Finance noted that while primary education enrolment rates have been the headline indicator under MDGs, targeting improvements in secondary and tertiary education whilst incorporating practical and vocational skills will be more important under the post 2015 Agenda.

Also, to tackle the challenge of employment in the continent, Dr. Okonjo Iweala suggested that there is need to focus on increasing investment in infrastructure, particularly within energy and transportation therefore, the post 2015 framework should include indicators such as electricity power consumption per capita density of road network, and percentage of population with access to electricity, improved water resources and roads.

“This National Consultation presents an opportunity to comprehend impediments at differing levels of society and for different groupings within Nigeria. It is an essential exercise in what is a crucial process”, the Finance Minister added.

Also in her speech, while welcoming participants to the event, Dr. Precious Kalamba Gbeneol, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals said the forum underlines the shared comprehension of the importance of ensuring that the planning process for a Post-2015 Development Agenda needs an inclusive and participatory foundation. This was even as she assured that Nigeria’s contribution will be taken into consideration in the formulation of post 2015 development agenda.

Gbeneol said the conveyance of yesterday’s event was particularly important because while the “MDGs framework has been lauded for focusing development attention on key aspects such as poverty, health and education indicators, it has been criticised for the lack of inclusion in their formulation. As such, efforts are focused on ensuring this is not the case during the Post-2015 consideration”.

Dr. Gbeneol noted that while it was agreed that poverty eradication and other unfinished business of the MDGs should remain the overarching framework for any Post-2015 Agenda at an Expert Group Meeting and the first National Consultation on the Post-2015 Agenda held in May and June, 2012 respectively, participants at both events also emphasized the need to include stakeholders from sub-national levels in the consultative process whilst engaging with themes that reflect the development aspirations of these key players.

“In line with these recommendations, my Office, in collaboration with the United Nations Country Team and the National Working Group on Post-2015 Planning, embarked on an exercise to involve subnational structures in this important process”, said Gbeneol while adding that “We are now gathered in an historic event at this Sub-national and Thematic Consultation on the Post 2015 Agenda to determine the future we want”.

The SSAP-MDGs listed another initiative of his office to broaden participation in the process of formulation of post 2015 development agenda to include MY World Survey being carried out in collaboration with the United Nations Millennium Campaign and the National Youth Service Corp.

According to her, The MY World Survey which seeks to discover the ordering of developmental priorities of a country’s population will sample opinions of 77,400 Nigerians and the results will be ready next month to feed into the work of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and the meeting of the High Level Panel in Bali, Indonesia.

While urging participants to fully participate in the deliberations, she assured them that the outcomes of their deliberations will count as Nigeria is well represented in the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on Post-2015 Planning with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Honourable Minister of Finance and her predecessor, the Hajia Amina Mohammed who is now Assistant Secretary General and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on Post-2015 Planning as members of this Panel. Dr. Gbeneol also informed participants that her office has adopted a number of acceleration solutions for the achievements of MDGs in the country.

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