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Nigeria may not meet MDGs by 2015 —Environmentalist

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Nigeria may not meet  any of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, says an environmentalist, Mr Godwin Ojo.

Ojo, the Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERAFoEN), said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, recently.

“Again, we will not say Nigeria is starting from zero but we will say that Nigeria is not likely to meet any of the goals of the Millennium Development Goals.

‘’This is because the country started implementing the MDGs late. The MDGs is an institution really and it should be driving development.

‘’So, to mainstream the MDGs into the micro-economy has proved difficult and people continue to approach it as a project,” he said.

On the issue of pollution and citing the Zamfara lead poison as an example, Ojo said a total clean up was needed and that medical attention should be given to the affected people.

Commenting on other environmental issues, Ojo said, “there is the issue of desertification; there is the issue of deforestation; most of the trees are being cut down on daily basis and deforestation is going on at a very high rate.

“So, we need to talk about all these things, we need to put laws in place.

“Climate change is a big issue; Nigeria continues to pay lip service and nothing tangible is being done by way of addressing the situation; I think these are some major issues we contend with in Nigeria,” he said.

He added that his group was concerned about environment issues, especially the issue of  sustainable development post-MDGs in the areas of water, and sanitation.

‘’We used to have public taps, we used to enjoy water but now, if you don’t sink a borehole, you have to become a beggar to your neighbour in order to get clean water,’’ Ojo added.

NAN recalled that the MDGs were eight international development goals that were formally  outlined following the UN Millennium Summit in 2000.

About 193 UN member states and, at least, 23 international organisations had agreed to achieve these goals by 2015 and Nigeria was a signatory to this declaration.

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