Following the expiration of the implementation timeline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which came to end in 2015, the international community through the United Nations in collaboration with the Heads of States and Governments of the 193 Member Nations, launched the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a new development agenda. This agenda, also known as Agenda 2030, is framed into 17 Goals, 169 Targets and 230 Indicators. Nigeria, being one of the countries that ratified and adopted the Agenda for implementation in September 2015, proceeded immediately to domesticate it. The domestication began with the data mapping of the SDGs with a view to identifying which agencies of government and other stakeholders could provide relevant and sustained data for tracking the implementation of the programme.
Consequently, the National Bureau of Statistics, in collaboration with the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs), collaborated with other stakeholders to establish a baseline for the SDG indicators that are domesticated in Nigeria. The early commencement of this programme was to avoid the challenges faced during the implementation of the MDGs, including the challenges of generating the required baseline data. The approach also highlights the importance of using data to confirm the progress made in the implementation of the SDGs. This Report, therefore, emphasizes the critical role of data in monitoring the implementation and progress of the SDGs from the beginning.
The Report tracks and examines the baseline status of the SDG indicators before the commencement of full f implementation of the SDGs in 2016. In other words, it identifies the status of the indicators as at 2016 as the benchmark from which tracking can commence as the Government provides resources and policies that impact on the indicators. Therefore, this Report is very important for several reasons. First, it clearly sets 2016 as the benchmark, for the identified SDG indicators for which data was collected.
Second, it forms the basis for monitoring the performance of the indicators as well as all the future efforts to attain the SDGs by 2030. Third, it provides key lessons and challenges that data compilers, collectors and analysts will have to contend with while tracking the implementation of the SDGs. For all these features to inhere in the Report, it has to undergo a participatory process.
Indeed, the Report is the result of an inclusive and participatory process involving all stakeholders, including ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the federal state governments as well as international development partners.
In preparing this Report, a conscious attempt was made to cover the 17 Goals of the SDGs. This was done through visits to federal and state MDAs for data collection using typical data templates.
This was followed by data mining within the National Bureau of Statistics and the citing of the outcome of surveys carried out by the NBS. Of the 230 Indicators, this Report captured 126 indicators.
Despite this rigorous effort, data could not be captured for several indicators under some of the Goals. To draw attention to these missing indicators, however, the Report made a provision for what it calls the “Missing Data” in Chapter 4. In the course of implementing this new development agenda, it is expected that a full-scale stand-alone SDGs survey will be carried out to address these missing data specifically. This is because the successful tracking of the implementation of the SDGs will depend very significantly on the availability of those missing data for the indicators listed under Chapter 4. It is very important for these missing data to be made available as government strives intensely to implement the SDGs through policy changes, budget provision and programme effectiveness.