Nigerian Legislature and Sustainable Development Goals: From Self-Assessment to Engagement.

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Volume: | Pages: 86 | Year Published: 0000

Publisher: National Institute for Legislative Studies

Author: Dr. Bukola Saraki |

Subject Matter
Assessment of the Nigerian Legislature and Sustainable Development Goals

Purpose/Objective
the publication is to serve as a toolkit that will provide law makers in Nigeria with essential insights regarding the concept and plans of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It specifically provides lawmakers with detailed overview of the new 2030 Agenda and the SDGs framework as well as a range of opportunities to support development effectiveness and SDGs implementation and monitoring, through strategic use of their legislative powers

Gaps Identified
The book did not make reference to any enacted law or ongoing Bill before the parliament towards realizing the SDGs.
It did not make reference to scholarly literature(s) on the subject matter.
It failed to address in details, the impact MDGs has made in Nigerian social, economic and political development.
Again it did not expressly state the gaps already existing in realizing these goals and lessons to learn from other jurisdictions.
It did not statistically quantify the performance of the MDGs, and
The reference materials consulted were not cited

Recommendations
Firstly, not much has happened from 2015-date in realizing the SDGs. The goals are set to be realized by 2020 up to 2030. It is therefore too early to make further impute to the book as the content so far seem s watertight and encompassing. Secondly, the book is barely one year and the authors did a wonderful job by touching almost every conceivable ground that will guide law makers in understanding the subject matter and effectively contribute their quota to ensure full implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria. Finally, the information in the book is still very current and need little or no amendment though their might be a need for its review after 2020

Reviewer: Nwafor-Orizu Ngozi

Rank: Research Officer

Department: Legislative Support Services

Date Of Commencement: not available

Date Of Completion: not available

Summary
In September 2000, leaders of 189 countries in a bid to proffer solution to lingering problems confronting almost all the nations in the world particularly developing and underdeveloped countries came up with the millennium development goals. The Millennium Declaration which was endorsed at United Nations headquarters was committed to achieving a set of eight targeted goals by the year 2015. The goals (Millennium Development Goals MDGs) were set to;
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
2. Achieve universal primary education.
3. Promote gender equality and empower women.
4.Reduce child mortality.
5. Improve maternal health.
6. Ensure environmental sustainability.
7. Develop a global partnership for development.
The MDGs were realistic and easy to communicate, with a clear measurement/monitoring mechanism and by 2015 substantial progress was made particularly in realizing the first goal which was eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. However, the achievements have been uneven. The MDGs are set to expire in 2015 and the discussion of a post-2015 agenda continues. The focus is now on building a sustainable world where environmental sustainability, social inclusion, and economic development are equally valued. Based on this premise, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) came on board with more goals compared to the MDGs.
Nigerian Legislature and Sustainable Development Goals: From Self-Assessment to Engagement, a 2017 publication of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) took a cursory look at the SDGs and the role of the Parliament in realizing those goals in Nigeria. The book is intended to serve as a toolkit for the lawmakers in Nigeria to give them essential insights regarding the concept and plans of the SDGs. Particularly, it aims at providing lawmakers with an overview of the new 2013 Agenda and the SDGs framework in addition to available opportunities to support development effectiveness and SDGs implementation and monitoring through exercise of their law making powers. The book contains seventeen (17) items starting with a preface by the Senate President (Dr.) Bukola Saraki, CON who in the preface reiterated on the intention of the global community to end poverty and set the world on a sustainable path to inclusive development by 2030. The SDGs therefore provide opportunity to Nigeria to pull its resources and elements of national power to address developmental challenges that further hamper government efforts to address problems of poverty, social exclusion and promoting sustainable democratic government. Mr. Speaker emphasized on the role of the legislature in the implementation of the SDGs and the concerted effort of the legislature in advancing and entrenching transparency in governance and management of public resources towards the realization of these goals. He further recommended this toolkit to parliamentarians both at the state and federal as it identified the broad development goals and workable strategies and partnerships required in ensuring successful implementation of the SDGs considering the country's peculiarities, challenges and solutions.
Acknowledgment. Prof. Ladi Hamali Director-General, NILDS recognized and commended the efforts of the team that worked assiduously to produce this toolkit.
Introduction.
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, developed a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will carry on the momentum generated by the MDGs and fit into a global development framework beyond 2015. The 2030 SDGs Agenda which had the interest of creating a new, people-centered, development agenda, a global consultation was conducted online and offline. Civil society organizations, citizens, scientists, academia, and the private sector from around the world were all actively engaged in the process that ushered in seventeen (17) sustainable goals set to be fully achieved by the year 2030. Nigeria's Achievements in the Millennium Development Goals. This topic discussed how Nigeria has fared in the implementation of the MDGs. The country has demonstrated strong commitment in ensuring peaceful, secure and conflict free environment. The results obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics show that albeit the country is lagging behind in achieving some of the goals, it has recorded massive improvements in the area of no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education and gender equality.
Role of the National Assembly.
The National Assembly (NASS) is actively involved in the realisation of the SDGs in Nigeria. The step taken so far by the NASS includes setting up committees at the upper and lower chambers to carry out different functions including oversight toward the implementation of the SDGs. What are the SDGs. The goals include:
1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all.
5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.
8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.
9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.
10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.
11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.
15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss.
16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
The six (6) SDGs Pillars.
The six pillars on which the implementation of the SDGs has been designed are;
1. Dignity.
2. People.
3. Planet.
4. Prosperity.
5. Justice.
6. Partnership.
Sustainable development goals and their indicators.
The SDGs are 17 in number broken down to 168 goals and 239 indicators. All the goals and their indicators are geared towards even implementation of the goals irrespective of sex, age, tribe, status etc. Sustainable Development Goals. Summary of Sustainable Development Goals: No poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry; innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace; justice and strong institutions and partnership for the goals. The SDGs agenda is complemented by three additional agreements as follows:
1. Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development.
2. Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
3. Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction. Parliaments and Realisation of SDGs. SDGs give the parliament the opportunity to fulfill their mandate as representatives of the people whose duties include improving the people's lives and the health of the planet on which the human existence depends through law making. This they do through translating this global framework (SDGs) into actionable national policies/laws. The Nigerian Legislature and Realisation of SDGs. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended) vests law making power on the National Assembly and the States Houses of Assembly. The SGDs allow the Nigerian Legislature both states and federal to exercise legislative power given to them by the Constitution as well as live up to the commitment of the global parliamentary bodies. The legislature is therefore expected to engage in implementation and oversight of the SDGs, work to localize the SDGs by ensuring that the national SDGs reflect specific local needs and the circumstances of specific groups, request progress report from the government on implementation of the SDGs etc.
Responsibilities of the Parliaments in SDGs.
The parliament has the following roles to plays in advancing democratic governance towards realizing the SDGs:
1. Law making.
2. Budgeting.
3. Representation.
How prepared is the Nigerian Legislature? Relevance of Self-Assessment.

The Nigerian Legislature can only evaluate their contributions towards the realization of the MDGs through self-assessment. This they will do by asking themselves the following questions
1. How has their core functions as parliamentarians related to the realization of the SDGs in Nigeria?
2. What specific roles, partnership and collaborations are expedient for them to help achieve the SDGs? Self-assessment will require bringing together different actors to discuss preparedness and capacity as experience has shown that self-assessments are pivotal when led by the Senate President, Leader of the House, and the Speakers of States Assemblies. It should be noted that self-assessment is not a check-box exercise but a way of bringing parliamentarians with divergent opinions and competences to reflect on parliament's preparedness to engage in the SDGs. Parliament may engage in self-assessment by organizing SDGs information Seminar, political officer (presiding officer) should initiate self-assessment process, establish Cross-Part Committees to oversee the process, engage in oversight activities, establish secretariat within the parliaments to organize self-assessment, make specific budget for the implementation of SDGs, engage neutral and effective facilitators, source for credible data, assess outcome and follow up the implementation of SDGs. They can also ask themselves relevant questions like how much do they know of the development goals and the indicators of the SDGs? how can they mainstream the SDGs into legislation , budget process and oversight activities? How can the implementation of the SDGs be sensitive to the need of the people amongst others? This toolkit did not only give insight of the SDGs, it also provided working guide for the legislators to ensure easy and effective implementation of SDGs by the legislative arm of the government.