The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, has said all the projects proposed in the 2019 budget for SDGs have been completed.
Some of them are currently being commissioned and handed over to the host communities, she said.
She made the revelation when she appeared before the Senate Committee on SDGs to defend the 2021 budget. She was, however, not given the room to discuss details of the budget.
The seemingly impressed panel had barely settled in for the meeting and introduced themselves when members began to move that the presidential aide be allowed to lay the budget and leave.
The chairperson of the committee, Aishatu Dahiru, simply asked Mrs Orelope-Adefulire to “make a brief comment on the budget” before leaving.
Other members of the panel, Olubunmi Adetumbi and Godiya Akwashiki, noted that the lawmakers had just received their copies of the budget and would need time to study the budget.
“Let her just comment on the budget and we will study it. If we need further explanation, we will invite her,” Mr Akwashiki said – a suggestion the panel adopted.
In her remarks, Mrs Orelope-Adefulire announced that the federal government completed all the projects proposed in the 2019 budget for SDG.
“…I am happy to report to the senate committee that the projects in the 2019 budget have been fully implemented. We don’t have outstanding, we don’t have uncompleted or ongoing projects
“We are commissioning them and handing over to the different communities and very soon, we will call you to join us. No abandoned projects, no ongoing projects. Everything has been completed.
“There are ongoing projects in the 2020 budget. We would have completed that of 2020 but for COVID-19.”
She also said monitoring and evaluation programmes are also ongoing as she hoped that there will be no second wave of COVID-19 to enable them complete ongoing projects.
FG moves to reduce mortality rate
Speaking with journalists, Mrs Orelope-Adefulire said the SGDs office intervenes to reduce the current mortality rate in the country.
Some of the interventions are the construction of Mother and Child Centres and strategic partnerships across the country with the aim of promoting the health of the mothers and children, reducing maternal and child mortality and improving Nigeria’s health indices.
The current maternal mortality rate, she said, currently stands at 512 deaths per 100,000 live births in the country. And the neonatal mortality is at 39 per 1000 live births and under age 5 mortality rate is at 132 per 1000 live births.
“Another significant step towards tackling the problems associated with infants, neonatal and maternal care was taken recently with the commissioning of a fully equipped, state of the art 100-Bed Mother and Child Care, MCC hospital in Ifon Community, Ose Local Government Area of Lagos State.
“The facilities are equipped to stop maternal, child deaths. The facilities are strategic interventions directly linked to the achievement of SDG-3 on ‘Quality Health and Well-being for all’ and other cross-cutting SDGs.”
The centres seek to address the high prevalence of maternal and child mortalities in Nigeria in line with the mandate of OSSAP-SDGs to implement or support policies and programmes aimed at fast-tracking the achievement of the SDGs in Nigeria, she added.
While she called on all cooperate organisations to partner with the government towards the success of the initiatives, she pledged that the government will continue to prioritise such programmes and interventions with potential large-scale impact for achieving the SDGs in Nigeria.