President Goodluck Jonathan has lamented that some states in the country record as high as 70 per cent school drop out while others are just one per cent, emphasising that this was not good enough.
This is even as he made the call for the provision of power as goal one instead of seventh in the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that has been set to be achieved.
He stated this at a side event on Transformative Agenda for Sustainable Development in Nigeria and Africa: Lessons, Actions and Emerging Perspective, which had in attendance the Presidents of Ghana, Liberia and Senegal.
The president said every Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the country manages MDGs as it affects them while the office of MDGs was established to fill the gap, hence a meeting which he chairs meets every three months to review the activities of the office and fill in the gaps.
He assured the world leaders that Nigeria would keep faith in achieving the MDGs, stating that he was particularly passionate about infant mortality having lost seven of his siblings before their first birthdays leaving just himself and his sister as the only surviving children.
He said: "Infant mortality I'm passionate about because out of nine of us from my mother, we are just two left. I don't have direct sibling from my mother as a result of child mortality. I don't want others to suffer what I suffered, that is why I am very passionate about this," he said.
On power, he said it should become goal one in the post-2015 MDGs, President Jonathan said: "There is no way we can talk about development without sustainable energy. You cannot change a society without energy. I feel that you people should review your priority and make it goal one." President of Senegal, Macky Sall, in his remarks, congratulated Jonathan for the cooperation with his country.
He said the side event was apt in context of debate in the ongoing UN General Assembly.
Sall said country has succeeded in the prevention of the transmission of polio infections and that his country has one of the HIV/AIDS infection lowest rates on the continent. He called for crafting strong partnership in order to accomplish the MDGs in the remaining two years.
President Ellen John Sirleaf of Liberia, in her remarks, also commended Nigeria for the progress that has been made, particularly, the establishment of an MDG office focus describing it as impressive and commendable, urging other countries to emulate.
She called on countries to do the final push to ensure the MDGs are met in the next two years and for post-2015, she called for African ownership and African programmes reflecting African future.
On his part, President John Mohama of Ghana said the achievements in MDGs was a proof that when countries work together, they have a lot of success stories to tell. He said his country was lacking in goal seven but has recorded tremendous success in other goals.
He said: "We have 820 days to MDGs dateline, it might appear impossible but if we put our minds to it we can. We can deploy technologies and be innovative in our thinking and then we will be able to finish the unfinished targets".
The Ghanaian President called for economic integration for a win situation in the continent.
He stressed the need on the importance of girl child educating to reduce early beds and illiteracy. He said: "We should not marry off the girls early, that will reduce the rate of early beds."
The Director General of UNFPA, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, said 70 per cent of resources from the agency are going to Africa, adding that for the first time in the history of Nigeria, they are now actually buying commodities for reproductive health from Nigeria. The Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, told the audience of the success story in child mortality in his state which has been reduced by 30 per cent in two years.
He said this was made possible by the partnership with World Bank and the federal government that have provided sustainability through the health insurance scheme.
He called on African leaders to open trade opportunities for Africa while talking about eradicating poverty.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol, gave a score card of her office achievements in attending MDGs, saying a total of 8,000 projects have been completed while 7,000 projects are on going and a total of N10 billion funds were distributed to the poor.