By Elizabeth Uwandu
Professor of Development Studies, Prof. Kayode Oyesiku, has said Nigeria’s march into the future is hinged on a holistic implementation of sustainable development strategies.
Delivering a paper entitled: Sustainable Development and Nigeria’s March to the Future, at the second Babcock University Public Affairs Forum, the former Vice-Chancellor, Tai Solarin University of Education, TASUED, said one of the strategies was the wholesome implementation of agricultural policies that would aid mechanized agriculture.
Oyesiku said government needed to build infrastructure, rehabilitate health institutions and revive vocational and technical education to aid sustainable development in the country, adding that though the Sustainable Development Goals’ implementation was still sketchy, there was need to entrench some of these goals that would guide Nigeria’s development into the psyche of people.
He noted:“If we then understand those goals and what they stand for, we would then also support the policymakers, the government, the state houses of assembly members and so on, to ensure that they ingrate these ideas into various policies.”
Oyesiku, who said there was a positive attitude of Nigerians towards ensuring the achievement of the SDGs, noted that President Muhammadu Buhari stated at the last UN General Assembly meeting that not only had Nigeria endorsed the SDGs, but that government had also started its implementation.
“They have started doing that and they have brought some egg heads together to give them a road map in achieving this. Let us give them about two years and see how it goes. I am an unrepentant optimist who believes that it would work out fine. By the grace of God it would work out,” he said.
Meanwhile, the immediate past President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, Prof. Bola Ajibola, has called for the setting up of a separate ministry to be in charge of policy implementation. He gave the suggestion during the Babcock University event. Ajibola said his call was informed by the absence of a body saddled with the responsibility of implementing recommendations, policies and communiqués arising from various conferences, workshops, and annual events in the academic community, public institutions, professional bodies and private sector institutions. He said the academia, government agencies, ministries and professional bodies make recommendations, formulate policies, and issue communiqué, but there was always a big disconnect between policy formulation and implementation.
The Convener, who is also the Dean of Veronica Adeleke School of Social Sciences, Dr Olajumoke Haliso, said the forum offered participants the opportunity to question and find solutions to the myriad of challenges confronting the country.
She noted that the Public Affairs Forum was a brainchild of the Veronica Adeleke School of Social Sciences, which serves as a veritable vehicle for the debate of the most pressing issues confronting the nation.