With less than 1,000 days to the 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and maternal mortality rate figure at 350 per 100,000 live births, the Federal Government has restated its promise to achieve all the goals in Nigeria.
The goals are promoting gender equality and empowering women, improving maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases respectively.
Also speaking, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs; Dr Precious Gbeneol expressed confidence that remarkable progress has been made and that government is making efforts to hit the milestone.
According to Dr Gbeneol, top on the list of achievements for Nigeria is the net attendance levels for basic education which she says, has increased over time.
She further claims that the Federal Government is working hard to ensure that it hits the 100 per cent mark by 2015.
The MDGs boss also said Nigeria has recorded progress in its bid to reduce maternal mortality with the country’s maternal mortality rate figure now at 350 down from 1000 per 100,000 live births in 1990 and 545 in 2008.
She however agrees that Nigeria is still 28.6 per cent away from the 2015 target.
The Minister of Health lists the decline in HIV prevalence rate from as high as 5.8 to 4.1 in 2012 and the increase in the proportion of under-5 children sleeping under insecticide treated nets from 2.2 per cent in 2003 to 34.6 per cent in 2012 as confirmed by MDGs survey of 2012.
In the area of poverty eradication the Federal Government says it has appropriated the sum of N10 billion to assist poor households across the country.
But the sentiments claimed by the government officials on the nation’s progress in achieving the goals is not shared by all, as the World Health Organization (WHO) recently stated that Nigeria can meet the targets with a strict adherence to the mechanisms that have been put in place for successful implementation.
Experts advocate the need for Nigeria to look beyond the targeted date of 2015 by consolidating on the gains of the MDGs and evolve new developmental initiatives for the welfare of Nigerians.
The year 2015 is the deadline for the realization of the MDGs set by the United Nations in the year 2000 with about 189 countries including Nigeria being signatories to achieving the goals which are geared towards reducing extreme poverty among other priorities.