The Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) has said that Nigeria was off track in the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 deadline. It called on the Federal Government to recognise the developmental role of local government as a partner in the implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Secretary General, CLGF, Mr. Carl Wright stated this yesterday in Abuja at a briefing on the resolution and suggestions arrived at the end of four-day meeting by the organisation in the country.
Wright said that Nigeria’s active contribution to early consultations on the post 2015 process through the support of the United Nations (UN) system was welcome development.
He noted that the provisional new goals include many areas which related to local government and its core responsibilities like education, health, sanitation among others.
He said: “The session reflected on the increasingly developmental role of local government and the importance of ensuring that local government is recognised as a partner in the implementation of the new SDGs.
“Nigeria is off track in meeting the MDGs, many of which happen at the local level and must be mindful of the need for better integration between levels of government, mainstreaming support within budgets, and improving transparency and accountability.
“Surveys undertaken in Nigeria as part of consultations on the SDGs demonstrate that local people prioritise seeing corruption tackled, local governance, local governance improved and jobs created. A strong and enabling legal framework is essential to enable local government to undertake this role effectively”.
Wright stressed that SDGs should be built on MDGs and the proposed goals relating to good governance, tackling corruption and job creation, as well as the emerging principle of localising would reinforce the earlier emphasis on social development and poverty eradication.
He also pointed out that there was need for the elimination of encroachment on local sources and build local government’s capacity to improve internally generated revenue.
Also speaking, the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki said the outcomes of interactions during the forum's meeting had been so enriching.