Since September 2015, when President Muhammadu Buhari joined other world leaders to endorse the 17 SDGs, his administration has been striving to promote peace and justice as well as the building of strong institutions in Nigeria as envisaged by SDG16. In this edition of the SDGs Monitor Journal, we review the implementation of SDG16 in Nigeria. The review by our consultant, Professor Jibrin Ibrahim, Senior Fellow, Centre for Democracy and Development, reveals that Nigeria is not on track with respect to achieving the sub-goals or targets of SDG 16. For instance, while sub-goal 1 requires all member states of the United Nations to significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere, our review finds that rather, there has been a significant growth of wanton violence and death in Nigeria in recent years. It also finds that the country has witnessed the expansion of terrorism, ethnic militia and rural-based violence that are grouped as Boko Haram terrorism and farmer-herder clashes.
The country is equally not on course in terms of sub-goal 3, which demands the promotion of the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensuring equal access to justice for all. Our review shows that the criminal justice system in the country has been particularly problematic because it is characterised by lack of respect for the rule of law and frequent abuse of the rights of Nigerians, and that these failings are the direct result of the corrupt nature of the police, the prisons and the courts.
The study finds that certain factors such as the high level of insecurity in the country, weak judicial system, corruption and lack of strong institutions appear to be impediments to the actualisation of SDG16 in Nigeria by 2030. To put Nigeria on the path towards attaining SDG 16, it recommends that government should strive to significantly reduce all forms of violence, the judiciary must be truly independent, devoid of undue executive muzzling, and that all the critical institutions such as the Police, the Army, the Prison Service, and political parties should be strengthened.
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Publisher & Editorial Director