Annefrida Kisesa-Mkusa, UNICEF chief field service coordinator for Nigeria, says a lot depends on Nigeria for the world to achieve its target on child survival.
She said this during an interview with reporters shortly after the opening ceremony of a two-day end-year review meeting for Adamawa, Gombe, and Taraba states.
“If the issues of children in Nigeria are not solved, the world cannot achieve its targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that relate to children,” she said.
“Actually, when you look at the children of the world, Nigeria accounts for about 11 percent of children. It also accounts for 30 percent of children in Africa. In other words, if the issues of children in Nigeria are not solved, the world cannot achieve its SDGs targets.”
She said the review offers opportunity to know the real situation of children on ground, adding that “when we do reviews like this, we say we have achieved a lot, but when the surveys are done at the ground level, when we look at the children, you find out that the gaps are really big.
“For example, the survey done in 2018 for Nigeria, we found out that the under fives mortality rate is actually stagnant in some of the states and worse in some other states. This is in spite of all the resources UNICEF, other development partners as well as Governments have been using in these States.
“We try to ask ourselves, what is not happening because something may not be going on according to plan, otherwise, we are spending a lot of human and financial resources but the results which we are achieving don’t seem too much compared to the resources otherwise, the surveys should be showing a big improvement.”