The meeting started with an apology from the zonal coordinator Mr. Chima Jef Megwe at 11:30am. He introduced Ada Okoroacha as the Moderator of the meeting, and she invited Dr. Kola to the High table. Also invited to the high table was the Zonal Coordinator, Mr Chima Jef Megwe and Mrs. Florence Mbogu, the Protem State Coordinator for Abia State.The UNDP focal person for Imo State Mr. George Amakihe was also called to the high table.
The opening prayer was said by Rev. Iro at 11:40am after which Mrs. Mbogu spoke asking people to shift forward since there was no microphone. She said we are here to discuss the issues surrounding the post-2015 agenda for development which has been born as a result of the issues surrounding the MGD’s. The 2015, according to her, is taking over from MDG planning was done by a few the centre of the UN. She said the MDGs have achieved some results. What we are here to do is to represent the South East zone to deliberate what we want our world to be after 2015.
Mrs Mgogu further said that the UN Sec. Gen. said that the planning of post 2015 should be all inclusive and should be taken to the grass roots. It is assumed that participants know about MDGs and post 2015. We are here as the voice of the grass roots to make the post 2015 all embracing.
We are leaving out the session 1 because the media people are not yet around. The UN representative was asked to give us a goodwill message.
Mr. George Amakihe thanked Mrs. Mbogu and Dr. Tola. He is here as the state focal person for UNDP. He said that UNDP coordinates the process. This is an opportunity for us to reflect on where we are, where we are going and where we are coming from. The time is set for us to look at the activities of the MDGs to see the impact they have made. That the MDGs were just package from a different environment. That we should be able to see the relevance of the MDGs to our environment and what will work beyond the end of MDGs in 2015.
Chief Onyema Eke former NUJ chairman in Imo State introduced and called up to the high table. At this point the National convener of post 2015 deliberation Dr. Tola (who has already lost his voice) presented a paper. He said the South East was the 5th zone to organize the process of “ Post 2015 MDGs Development Agenda”. According to him people thought the MDGs was going to provide all that we needed for development. That the MDGs targets and indicator (18 target & 48 indicators) had 3 characteristics.
There are some groups that have been working with the United Nations including the CSOs to realize the MDGs by 2015. MDGs have their challenges. They have for instance not achieved their targets.
M & E is important to assess MDGs. We are at the 13th year. The Sec. Gen. of UN said that although some targets have been made, collectively we will not achieve MDGs by 2015. There is therefore the need for us to address the unmet MDGs.
In the MDGs governance not expressly stated; security not part of the MDGs – Boko Haram etc.
On the11th July 2011 the Secretary General’s Report said that we should look beyond 2015. There have been structured discussions by different groups to make beyond 2015 all inclusive. MDGs are suffering setbacks because it was not inclusive. The Post-2013 is moving round to see what the yearnings and aspirations of the people are so that the people’s voice will count. There is UNDG set up by the Sec Gen who is also saddled with the National discussions. UNDP works with the civil societies. Our meeting gives us an opportunity to come up with what we want Nigeria to be beyond 2015. 2015 and Beyond consultation is grass roots oriented and is therefore very important.
At this point we went back to session 1- press briefing to be led by Mr. Steve.
Zonal coordinator said that it is the time for the press to ask few questions. Dr. Kola was asked to make his presentation an address for the press briefing post-2015 MDG Development Framework.
The current Chairman of NUJ in Imo State came in to join the process. He lamented he could use only very few gentlemen of the press. He however promised adequate coverage of the even for the mobilization of the people for the post-2015.
At the end of his presentation Dr. Kola asked the journalist to ask questions. Mr. Mbogu said that we are partnering with the press and suggested that they should take the process to the grass roots for impact so that we will not make the mistake of the MDGs. The ex-chairman said that the process was not a formal press conference, but authorized the pressmen to ask questions.
Steve: You singled out corruption and blamed leadership the inability of the MDGs to realize their targets. Does your organization have the mechanism to evaluate the internal working of the MDGs? What are the methods of evaluating the results of the MDGs? No focal office of MDGs gives information to the press. How can the press be involved when they are shielded from the process?
Another Journalist: Everybody blames political leadership for the failure of the MDGs. What is the role of the electorates in ensuring that the political leadership does what it is supposed to do?
Answer: Dr. Kola gave the following answers:
- Studies have been conducted to know what the MDGs are doing. They are a lot of studies that have been done for instance UNDP has copious documents.
- Role of CSOs to ensure that government is doing what it is supposed to do. CSOs engage the govt. to ensure that govt. is doing what it is supposed to do.
- Also carry out studies to know the problem of MDGs. CSOs blow whistles to alert the people when the leadership is not doing the proper thing. They also write on the papers.
- For inaccessibility of the MDGs focal offices the press should expose such people
- Press should collaborate with the CSOs to criticize the government. The government is sensitive to what the press writes and the press should take advantage of this.
DELIBERATION PROCESS AND POLITICAL CONTEXT
This consultation was well attended and participants enthusiastically made contributions during the deliberations and group discussions and presentations. Journalists asked questions that showed they were deeply concerned with the way MDGs activities and their evaluations were being conducted – in response to the presentations made by Dr. Tola Winjobi. They were deeply concerned about the internal evaluation of the MDGs and the secrecy with which the political leaders have shrouded the MDGs processes. Furthermore they were concerned with the apparent lack of monitoring of the political leaders by the electorates on the implementation of the MDGs.
Participants were also deeply concerned about the role of corruption and lack of transparency by the operators of the MDGs in stalling their targets expressed the fear that if nothing serious was done to reduce corruption and lack of transparency that the post-2015 will go the way of the MDGs. Participants were of the opinion that the post-2015 implementing and monitoring mechanisms should be enlarged a national, state and local coordinating mechanisms to include the CSOs, FBOs, the security agencies, the marginalized groups, the media and the government so that each of them shall be a check on the others.
The group work and presentations produced the following in terms of vision:
- A Nigeria where there is assessable and affordable Health care
- A Nigeria where there is absence of gender based violence
- A Nigeria where there is absence of injustice
- A Nigeria where there is absence of insecurity
- A Nigeria where there is sustainable environment
- A Nigeria that is Youth and Child friendly
- A country where human rights advancement and protection are above board
- A society where there is capacity building empowerment and self- reliance to the citizenry
- A society where citizen participate in policy making
- A society where citizen access quantitative health- care
- A society where there is peace and security of the environment
- A society where there is free flow of information in line with the freedom of information regime.
- A society where there is free and compulsory education to the citizenry
- A country where there is employment creation to the grassroots
- A society that is corrupt-free
- A country where there is ownership and participatory democracy
- A country where there is institutional growth/sustenance of a Legal framework
- A world free of corruption
- A world where citizen are giving space to actively participate in governance and empowered to hold government accountable for their actions
- A world where food and nutrition is sufficient for the healthy growth and well-being of their citizen
- A just world that recognizes and respect the right to participation of groups such as minority, women, youth and political, economic, cultural and spheres of life.
- A nation free of corrupt practices where the need of the common man drives the development
- We vision a country where citizens’ views and contribution are considered, projects and policies are people based, good governances and accountability assured, appointment is based on merit, poverty is eradicated, international human right and constitution are respected and equity in distribution of resources by Nigerian government without discrimination
- A globe/Nation where human rights and zero corruption are assured, and developments grass root or community demand driven
- A world where women, children, the marginalized and vulnerable groups have opportunity to development and have rights to health care services
- A world that reaches out to the indigent women (widows), and where orphans and other vulnerable group access human right issues, health care services, education and other social services
The three groups also presented the following in terms of purpose:
- Mechanismthat checks injustice should be properly constituted involving enlarged stakeholders, including faith based organizations, vulnerable groups, CSOs, the disabled, the media, private sector and government
- There should be an orientation of the citizens, that security is every body’s business, while government should take the lead.
- Poverty reduction and economic empowerment.
- It should ensure that there is great impact on the transparency and accountability of the governance of the day through participatory democracy
- Efficient establishment and management of institution to strive.
- Credible democratic process that will ensure credible leadership at all levels
- Equity and fairness in the governance of the day through equitable distribution of elective positions in the segments of national lives as it affects economic, political and social rights of the citizenry
- Through attaining qualitative education in line with the best global practice e.g. target in education for all goals and budget on education
- Incentive and grants to farmers for improved agricultural productivity
- The use of agriculture extension farmer for monitoring and education of rural farmers each assigned to every political ward provision of mechanical agricultural farming implement
- Through-the-visiting the National education policy for basic education as a right to be enforceable in the constitution
- To ensure gender equality and equity in development especially with the marginalized communities and individual
- The frame work should embrace all grass root challenges globally
- Society where people (men, women, youth, children and the disabled) are empowered and strengthen to be productive members of the society with emphasis on gender consideration
- For social inequalities: including migrant populations, women
For political inequalities: including recognition, participation, decentralize decision making and data
Income inequalities: including recyclers, market traders social protection (people from all works of life)
For solutions for addressing inequalities including community-led solution – access to information and other social amenities
In addition the groups presented the following in terms of principles:
- Fairness and equity in sharing resources and power
- Greater involvement of the youth and women
- Respect for environment sustainability.
- Accountability- there has to be accountability in the management of funds appropriate for various development projects as it affects the attainment of the MDGs.
- Fairness: every relevant stakeholder must be considered in the issue of governance, by being fair to all parities
- Transparency: there has to be transparency in every segment of our national engagement to ensure efficient management of resources
- Gender sensitive: every sector of various groups like the vulnerable and physically challenged persons must be considered in the governance of the day through instituting legislative framework to accommodate the views of these groups.
- Value re-orientation: there must be training and re-training of citizenry for attitude change.
- Transparency: Every detail about the project published for the benefit of the partners (beneficiaries) and proper monitoring
- Inclusiveness: gender sensitive and inclusion of the vulnerable, especially the physically disabled, in the planning, implementation etc
- Accountability: Every stakeholder shall have a role to play in order to account for it
- The framework should embrace quality personnel not appointing relations, friends who are novices in the execution and implementation of developmental projects on the basis of god-fatherism
- Down – top project planning: the Rural people (grass root) should be involved in the planning stage of developmental project for its implementation
- The design and adoption of participatory approach, bottom-top approach, equality, equity, fairness, accountability, probity, by all and assignment of responsibilities and duties and holding each other responsible for failure and monitoring
And in terms of criteria the groups came up with the following:
- Proposed goals address issues of human right.
- Proposed goals address issues of environmental sustainability.
- Proposed goals address issues of economic empowerment.
- Sustainable power through monitoring and reviewing power generation within a specified time frame by generating 2,000 mega watt annually.
- Supervision, monitoring and evaluation: This aspect shall include the community member who are there at the grass root while the CSOs shall participate actively in it with relevant information at hand
- Develop a monitoring and evaluation tool that is acceptable and accessible and involve men of all relevant stake holders in the monitoring and evaluation of all projects including active participation of NGOs, faith based organization and youth led organization.
ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
For a way forward the consultation came up with the following:
- Expand the goal of MDG 6 to include other contemporary disease conditions like cancer, Hepatitis B, etc.
- Provide comprehensive health care services to the rural areas, which will focus more on the needs of the women.
- Place more emphasis on education by providing well-equipped laboratories in Secondary School and conducting student exchange programmes with other countries, especially francophone countries.
- Need to create more awareness about MDG’s or similar programmes in the rural areas to enable the people access the services available.
- Since the current emphasis on education is producing many graduates, there is a need to establish industries where these people will work.
- Ensure uninterrupted power supply, which will boost production.
- Engage in constructive dialogue with public servants to reduce the likelihood of strikes, which affects our economy.
- Engage in programmes that will enable us to prevent and manage natural disaster such as flooding, which devastated many communities in 2012.
- There is a need to focus o Malaria prevention by providing Rapid Diagnostic Kits, which will be used for outreach programmes with different segments of the community such as Churches, Schools, Health Centres, etc. This will help in detecting those that are infected and referring them for treatment.
- Government should revive the agricultural sector, whose ineffectiveness causes increase in food prices and neglects the young people who can make a career out of it.
- Provide loans to University graduates to help them start up their own businesses.
- Establish more industries in order to create employment and boost the manufacturing sector of the economy.
- Education should not be totally free. Parents should pay part of the fees to enable them take up their responsibility as parents.
- Government should support the physically challenged by doing the following; creating a ministry and department at federal, state and local government levels to oversee their affairs; creating job opportunities for them; awarding scholarships to brilliant students at all levels; and provide opportunities for training them on handwork and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
- Federal Government to strictly implement the issue of censoring films that are aired on our TV/Radio and products coming into Nigeria for moral & health reasons.
- To centralize or remove Health and Education system from Local Government administration to ensure efficiency
- National, state, and Local Government should ensure they put up strategies at all levels to stop corruption in Nigeria at all levels and reduce crisis, strikes etc in the society.
- All levels of Government to provide creative employment and sustainable development.
- Funding for 2015 and beyond sensitization and campaign should be extended to states, communities, groups etc. for effective sensitization and information sharing.
- Govt. to establish effective strategy for post 2015 agenda.
- Free education for the disabled, marginalized, women and other vulnerable should be a priority.
- Effective Health insurance and social responsibilities for the citizens especially for the disabled, elderly, children, women, vulnerable etc.
- Government to encourage bottom to top information harnessing, collection, sensitization/awareness and be all inclusive in planning, implementation monitoring & evaluation of post 2015 agenda/campaign
Mr. Chima Jeff Megwai then spoke about the next steps at the National and Regional levels. He reminded the participants that the zonal deliberations had taken place in five zones, including the Southeast. When the deliberations is concluded in the sixth zone, a few members of the Campaign2015+ will be selected from each zone to attend the national Deliberations, in Abuja, where all the issues from the different zones will be harmonised. Finally, the positions taken after the National Deliberation will be taken to the regional deliberations will be taking place in one of the African Countries.
In terms of opportunities for synergy and engagement at the regional and global levels, Mr. Megwai added that some international conferences will be coming up shortly and some representatives of the organisation will attend.
Dr. Tola urged the members to constantly check their email and also respond when there are issues that require their contribution, especially within their Thematic Areas. He asked them not to underestimate the level to which their contribution can take them. Finally, he urged them to be involved in the discussions so that the organisers will use the opportunity to invite them to international conferences.