Friday, June 22, 2018 2:34 pm
A don, Mrs Stella Okunna, has urged the Federal Government to adopt the 17-point Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a national vision and tailor its policies toward achieving the targets.
Okunna, a Professor of Development Communication, made the call while delivering her lecture at the 43rd Inaugural Lecture Series of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka on Thursday.
The lecture has the theme, “Development Communication in Good Governance in Nigeria: People at the Centre of Communication’’.
She said SDGs were another development agenda agenda which must be pursued with vigor and seriousness to avert the pitfalls that led to the failure of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which ended in 2015.
Okunna, who was in charge of MDGs implementation in Anambra from 2010 to 2014, noted that the state scored high on the achievement of the targets because it keyed into Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS).
She, however, expressed regret that the country as a unit failed because most states did not relate the goals to the demands of the masses in formulating their policies.
The former Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget in Anambra, said the masses must be at the centre of communication for sustainable development to occur.
“In Anambra, MDGs were achieved to a great level because the state government adopted it as a vision but Nigeria as a country failed,’’ the Dean, faculty of Social Sciences at NAU said.
“So for Nigeria to achieve the SDGs before 2030 as programmed, the government must adopt it as a vision and formulate its policies around the 17 goals which address the general development needs of the country.’’
Okunna said feedback was important for effective communication but also regretted that the government had seized it for propaganda rather than sending message on development programmes, implementation and getting response.
She decried early marriage for the girl-child which was a major setback because of lack of education, morbidity and spousal violence that were associated with it.
“As a communication strategy, ANIDS adopted a multichannel approach in which the mass media, interpersonal channels, as well as social media and other unique and innovative channels of communication were utilised for effective information management and participatory communication.
“The core of communication for development is participation which leads to social inclusiveness and ownership of ideas, policies and programmes by a broad range of stakeholders; sustainable development cannot be imposed on people.
“For the purpose of educating the society, our girls should not be encouraged to marry before the age of 24, some of them are pressured and that is why there is frustration, spousal violence and marital unhappiness,’’ she said.