*Varsity dons: Achievement in jeopardy
By Simon Ebegbulem
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Dr.Precious K. Gbeneol, has attributed the successes recorded by her office in the implementation of MDGs programs to innovations and careful adaptation of ideas to local realities. The SSAP-MDGs made the assertion during the quarterly MDGs lecture series organized by her office.
Gbeneol stated that the quarterly lecture series was part of her office’s internal impact assessment efforts to reposition the office towards attaining the MDGs by the United Nations target date of 2015.
According to the SSAP, this particular lecture on the topic, “Universal Primary Education in Nigeria: Trends and Issues”, will attempt to review all efforts by her office targeted at ensuring that, by 2015, children everywhere in the country, boys and girls will be able to complete a full course of primary education. She further said that the lecture will highlight some acceleration principles and options for implementing the countdown strategy which is OSSAP-MDGs’ recipe for overall success.
Meanwhile, the International Colloquium on the thirty years of social services delivery in Nigeria , organized by the Department of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Benin (UNIBEN) in honour of the former Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Emeritus Andrew Onokerhoraye, has lamented that the nation is far from achieving the MDGs in almost every sector.
In a communiqué after the three days event, which attracted scholars and university dons from different institutions in the country, it lamented that the nation had witnessed deterioration and decline in the social services provision and delivery in the past thirty years and declared that it would be difficult for the nation to achieve the MDGs with the prevailing situation.
It noted: “There are persistent challenges of ineffective utilization of funds to achieve set goals, poor budgetary provisions and funding, appropriate and obsolete techonology among states.
“Insecurity, violent conflicts, increasing criminality and poor policing are further threatening the existing social services infrastructure. In some sectors such as tourism, there has been almost a complete breakdown”.
While regretting that government has failed clearly to provide social services in terms of adequacy and quality services for the people, the communiqué also expressed doubt “ about the sincerity of the emerging strategy of public-private sector partnership and the non involvement of citizens in the conception and implementation of partnership projects”.
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