The assessment of the progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 1 and 7 on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, and ensuring environmental sustainability in the South East States of Nigeria was carried out between December 2010 and February 2011.
The purpose of the MDGs assessment and conference was to locate, extract, summarise, analyse and interprete all relevant data and information required in determining the current status of the MDGs in the South East Region as well as present findings to stakeholders during the conference.
In other words, it is to disaggregate and measure the MDGs attainment levels for each state of the South East States, namely Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo with a view to suggesting ways of managing state resource towards achieving these targets. The specific objectives are essentially to
- Locate important reference sources of relevant documents to provide alternative conclusion and/or opinions on Human Development. Indices in the South East
- Provide evidence-based indications the status of the MDGs 1 and 7 with South East as at January 2010 using traffic light representations
- analyse the situation in each state to determine the factors which boost or hinder progress particularly issues around governance, budget allocation, etc, and
- identify initiatives and good practices within or outside the states in the region, in Nigeria and/or outside Nigeria that may be useful to show case for promoting the achievement of MDGs 1 and 7 targets in the Region. The different approaches/methodology for the survey include interviews, using structured questionnaires, and desk study to generate secondary data/information from published works, technical reports/documents from relevant national and international agencies. Descriptive statistics such as frequency tables, percentages and charts were employed in the analysis of data to explain the progress on MDGs 1 and 7 in the South East states.
- Although general awareness about MDGs is high across the states, the background, targets and strategies for implementing the MDGs are not well understand by the States Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and particularly by the communities .
- MDGs Programmes/projects were reasonably implemented across the states and these include sectoral projects in health, education, water, agriculture, power and women affairs. Other initiatives and interventions were the Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS), Ouickwins, housing and urban development, capacity building and youth development projects, among others.
- MDGs fund provision especially with respect to Goals 1 and 7 are varied and not well identified or defined in the state budgets in most of the South East States. Fund releases were inadequate and unsustainable. The states depended more on federal allocations for which they provided matching grants for the MDG projects in the states.
- Over 80% of the MDGs projects on Goals 1 and 7 were designed and implemented without the active participation of the relevant MDAs, beneficiary communities, civil society and private sector. There is also weak collaboration between the three tiers of government, Federal, State and LGAs in the planning and execution of the MDGs in the South East States.
- There is absence of a functional monitoring and evaluation system for data generation, tracking, management and reporting on the achievement of MDGs targets across the South East States.
- With respect to the status/progress on MDG 1 on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, all the five (5) South East States are on track as well as making slow but steady progress. With sustained policy environment, adequate funding support from local and bilateral sources as well as good governance, among others, most of these states are likely to reach some of the targets by 2015.
- With respect to the proportion/percentage of people suffering from hunger, all the five (5) states are not measuring up towards achieving this target.
- However, these Southeast states have the prospect of achieving the target on halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger with well co-ordinated, focused and sustained interventions in agricultural and rural development policies and programmes and reversing the loss of environmental resources.
- On achieving the target on improvement in the lives of slum dwellers in the South East States, there are little or no data on these target group. Evidently, there is no deliberate policy targeting the socially excluded such as street beggers, the blind as well as the homeless and refugees, etc.
- With respect to Goal 7 on ensuring environmental sustainability, there is no significant difference between the states with respect to the types of refuse disposal and toilet facilities used in the Southeast. Majority of the citizens depend on covered and uncovered pit latrines for waste disposal especially in the rural areas. Urban dwellers depend mainly on flush to septic tank. Notably, the pail/ bucket system is almost non-existent across the south east states. In the case of refuse disposal, a greater proportion of the people use unauthorized refuse disposal methods within the compound.
- In order to fast track the achievement of the MDGs 1 & 7 targets in the region, there is the need for improved governance through transparency, accountability, and enhanced political will to guarantee adequate funding, effective service delivery, implementation and achievement of the MDGs targets in these states. Secondly, projects in such sectors as education, health, youths development, agriculture, urban and housing development and women affairs need to be scaled up. Finally, there is the need for UKaid/DFID to support the South East states to develop a count-down strategy to fast track the implementation of the MDGs in order to meet majority of the targets by 2015.