By Zubairu Idris
Katsina – The UN Children Funds (UNICEF) says Nigeria has a key role to play in the achievement of the Global Goals, otherwise known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Mr Mohamed Malick, made this known when he paid a courtesy call on Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State on Sunday.
Malick said that UNICEF considers Nigeria as important country because of its demographic size and influence in African continent.
‘’In view of the influence and leadership role that Nigeria plays in the Sub-Saharan region, we should not look at it as the world problem, but the world solution.
‘’If we address issues like out of school children, high maternal and infant mortality, malnutrition and violence against children in Nigeria, we will succeed in other parts of the world by over 60 per cent,’’ he said.
He, therefore, urged all stakeholders to continue to join hands to strengthen immunization in Nigeria in order to achieve that in other countries.
‘’If Nigeria does not make SDGs by 2030, no country will make it.
‘’Whatever success we have here, will serve as a blueprint to other countries, and will help them to attain the SDGs,’’ he said.
He urged governments, communities and other stakeholders ‘’to consider issues that affect children as issues of common concern of the entire society’’.
He urged various state governments to intensify effort toward investing in human capital development by prompt release of counterpart funds to for future development.
‘’We truly believe that development is not only mineral resources, infrastructure or financial resources.
‘’The most important part is the human capital development which means having a population that is healthy, well nourished, well educated,’’ he said.
Malick said that UNICEF was ready to assist state governments towards achieving the set objective.
Responding, Gov Masari said that the government would continue to invest in education because investing in education has great impact on children.
He urged UNICEF to assist the state in the area of routine immunization.