Kaduna State Development Vision and Aspirations within the context of the SDGs and the 2030 agenda

Keynote presentation by Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, at the Kaduna State SDGs Acceleration Conference, held at the Umaru Yar’Adua Hall, Kaduna on Tuesday, 22nd January 2019

1.0 It gives me a great pleasure to welcome you to the Kaduna State Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Acceleration Conference. This event is designed to provide a necessary context for “Building Effective Partnership for Accelerated Progress towards the SDGs’’. Given the imperative to enhance the living conditions of most of our people, Kaduna State and Nigeria need to ramp the attainment of the fundamental targets and indicators that are encapsulated in the SDGs.

2.0 Our commitment to promoting equal opportunity has guided our programmes in government. And these align with the 17 commitments outlined in the SDGs which advance the goal of ensuring that “No one is left behind”.

3.0 Since 2015, when we came into office, we have prioritized domesticating and localizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are benchmarking our progress towards meeting the 2030 agenda as the fastest approach to ensuring that we tackle the issues of poverty and human capital development in Kaduna State.

4.0 The Kaduna State Development Plan, which is aligned to the SDGs, is geared towards achieving Social Outcomes by delivering Jobs, Social Security and Prosperity while our Infrastructure Master Plan and Industrial Plans are geared towards achieving Economic outcomes through:
4.1 Developing integrated and sustainable Infrastructure that would make Kaduna State a leading investment destination in Nigeria and,
4.2 Focus on exploiting our comparative advantage to drive the revamping of the industrial sector, to make our state globally competitive.

5.0 Kaduna State stands out as a pace-setter in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We made history as first state in Nigeria to present an in-depth analysis of its SDGs data and strategy for implementation at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York.

6.0 We have made progress by adopting the SDGs targets and indicators, investing in data that allows us to know where we are coming from and what we have achieved so far.  We believe that evidence-based data improves our decision-making process by indicating which outcomes are more realistic and how much is required to fund the programmes that ensure that no one is left behind.

7.0 For example, our poverty alleviation strategy is driven by knowledge from the Kaduna State GDP & Agricultural Surveys. Agriculture constitutes 36.75% of Kaduna's economy (KDGDP 2017). About 42.6% of the workforce is employed in agriculture (KASS 2017) producing 22% of the country's maize. However, the volatility of incomes and food production coupled with weak social protection and insurance systems have left many households vulnerable to food insecurity, at least on a seasonal basis.

8.0 To boost food production, the Kaduna State government has made substantial investment in the agriculture sector, including investment in easing the supply of crucial inputs. It is equally providing training and support for commercial farming. In Kubau Local Government Area, 5,000 youths have been supported to cultivate maize, rice and beans for local consumption and export. In Kachia Local Government Area, government has invested in the grazing reserves and about 30,000 youths have been supported with funds to cultivate beans for export.

9.0 Through findings from our Annual Health Facility Census, we are investing in 255 PHCs (one functional PHC per political ward) to reduce the incidence of under-5 mortality and maternal mortality rates by almost 50%. We have invested in human resources in the health sector by employing 70 Doctors and 1,160 Nurses whilst improving our Secondary and Tertiary health Institutions.

10.0 In Education, Our Annual School Census provides situational assessment and a baseline of the education sector. This government inherited 4,200 public primary schools in dehumanizing conditions with enrolment rate stagnant at 1.1 million pupils, with at least 50% of pupils taking lessons on the floor because of lack of furniture in June 2015.

11.0 Our investments have contributed to the total overhauling of the education sector. We have introduced a Schools Rehabilitation Programme to provide decent classrooms, furniture, water and toilet facilities. By January 2017, about 500 of the schools had been rehabilitated at the cost of about N6 billion. After a review of the cost and analysis of the demographic trends data as it relates to overcrowding in the classrooms, we decided to build multi-storey school blocks with more classrooms to accommodate 30 to 40 pupils per class.

12.0 This has led to increase in School enrolment from 1.1 million to 2.1 million almost doubling the number of pupils in the State. We have also expanded access to education by making the first nine years of  schooling free for boys and the entire twelve years of primary and secondary education free for girls.

13.0 In our effort to improve teaching quality standards, the Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) had in June 2017 conducted a Primary Four competency test for  teachers. 21,780 out of 33,000 teachers that sat for the examination failed to meet the 75% benchmark. As part of our education reform programme, we sacked the failed teachers and recruited 25,000 new teachers. Kaduna State has the best “WAEC pass ratio” in Northern Nigeria, surpassing Abuja (FCT) as the best performing state for two years in a row. We look forward to improving on these indicators

14.0 Our belief in data to drive decision-making is further amplified by the results we have achieved. For us in Kaduna State, data drives our policy formulation in a manner that provides unprecedented insights into the choices and opportunity costs, and the tough decisions we need to take if we are to achieve the SDGs. Therefore, we are investing heavily in our State Statistical System through our data revolution plan.

15.0 At this juncture, I will like to recognize the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation towards achieving our data revolution ambitions.

16.0 Today, as part of our commitment to data revolution, we are laying the foundation for the AMINA J MOHAMMED SDGs Data Lab Building. This building, which is funded by the Gates Foundation, will house our analytics operations to deepen the convergence and analysis of big data  (fiscal, administrative and periodic based data) using artificial intelligence and Machine Learning which will provide critical insights in our approach to tracking our progress towards achieving the SDGs.

17.0 In addition to this, we will also be launching the:

17.1 Health Facility Directory and Analytics Platform
17.2 The SDGs Dashboard as part of our data watch service of tracking our progress towards achieving the SDGs

18.0 Despite the fiscal challenges we face, Kaduna State continues to devise and execute programmes to reverse the long years of neglect of the social sector. We are investing in human capital and infrastructure to enable us to tackle the legacy of poverty.

19.0 While we have made modest achievements towards achieving the SDGs, it is becoming increasingly obvious that government, the private sector and other non-state actors need to work together to tackle systemic challenges like expanding access to health and education, mitigating the effects of climate change, rising inequality, and exploitation of non-renewable resources.

20.0 As a state, we are determined to create a framework for collaboration between State and Non-State actors for innovative ideas multi-stakeholder initiatives based on SDG 17: to revitalize global partnerships for sustainable development. This will assist stakeholders to understand and support Kaduna State’s focus on the SDGs and how to achieve them.

21.0 This kind of cross-sector partnership is essential to achieving scale and sustained impact so that we can unleash innovative ways of working, mobilise expertise and resources, and create shared accountability in an increasingly complex fiscal environment. We need to deliver the most fundamental impact in the lives of our citizens and their communities.

22.0 I look forward to a robust discussion and engagement on how to accelerate the achievements of the SDGs by pulling resources, talents and innovation that would allow us to achieve the 2030 agenda.

Thank you for listening.

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