Nigeria must invest massively in the education and health of the children, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs set for 2030.
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF Planning Specialist, Maureen Zubie-Okolo , said this in Port-harcourt, Rivers State Capital during Media dialogue held on Nigeria Demographic Health Survey and Sustainable Development Goals.
Zubie-Okolo, said the government must invest specifically in the Health and Education Sector to address issues of child mortality which she said was still high in Nigeria.
According to her,”despite the decrease in childhood mortality in Nigeria , the country still contribute globally to childhood mortality.”
She stated that Education plays a key role in addressing major challenges affecting the Nigerian child as revealed by the NHDS.
“The NDHS indicates that from background characteristics of a child , the more educated the mother is the more likely it is for a woman to take her child to health seeking facilitator, the more likely she completes her Ante-natal care facility to be assisted by skilled health provider, the more she’s likely not to engage in female genital mutilation.
“The more educated a woman is the more comprehensive information she is likely to have as regards the well being of her child and the more likely her children will be educated, all of these are real because mother is a primary care giver of a child, education is key to child survival,” she explained.
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed stated the importance of data collection and dissemination in policy making and evaluation.
According to him, “Data collection and dissemination are essential elements to both policy making and evaluation function.
“These surveys have been instrumental in strengthening national statistics capacities, highlighting and filling gaps in quality data, monitoring and tracking progress toward national and international development goals like the SDGs”
“The survey assist in identifying emerging issues and disparities among groups in societies.”
Also speaking, UNICEF Chief of Field Office, covering Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom States, Dr Guy Marie Modeste said that Nigeria still faces the challenges of data in its usage to tackle it’s demographical growth.
According to him, We are facing critical stage as regards demographical growth,many children are left behind ,we need to ensure that no child is left behind”.
The media dialogue was organised by the Child Rights Information Bureau, CRIB of the federal ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with UNICEF, to acquaint media with basic data collection tools among other things.