The Senior Special Assistant on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mrs. Victoria Orelope- Adefulire has given the assurance that Nigeria is on course to meet major aspects of the SDGs.
Mrs. Orelope-Adefulire while speaking in Abuja also revealed that the country would collaborate with relevant international agencies and make use of proven best practices while working closely with Nigeria’s private sector to drive the implementation of the SDG in the country.
She said her office is partnering with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning to domesticate the 2030 Agenda by integrating it with the Medium Term Expenditure Framework as well as aligning it with the National Development Plan.
Nigeria is also taking the lead in Africa by showing best practice in early domestication, integration and implementation of these goals through sub-national mainstreaming, inter-agency coordination and institutional strengthening.
The Special Assistant who was also former Deputy Governor in Lagos said one of the major areas of collaboration is bridging the financial gap which has been a major challenge towards the implementation of the SDG.
She said: “Our major challenge is inadequate resource flow due to the global economic downturn. We are reviewing the globally acclaimed best practices, such as the Conditional Grants Scheme, to ensure there is right targeting and efficiency in resource allocation to the grassroots.
“By collaborating with the private sector, the SDGs Office will lead Nigeria’s drive to reduce the huge financing gap that tended to hamper progress on the SDGs.”
Orelope-Adelifure said her office is also collaborating with different stakeholders in the private sector to in such areas , such as science, technology and innovation, data as well as human resources. She revealed that Sahara Group, an indigenous oil and gas company led by Tonye Douglas ColeÂ is sponsoring a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Fund (UN SDG-F) workshop, on the development of a Universal Sustainable Development Agenda as a background to the nationalization of the SDG-F goals for Nigeria.
According to her, the workshop is to get inputs and insights from the UN SDG-F and the private sector on how businesses can effectively contribute their quota towards achieving the SDG’s in Nigeria.
“This is important due to the need for public and private sector agencies and organizations to understand the platforms available for collaboration, to meet the SDG-F goals in Nigeria.With the workshop, we will be opportunity for discussion to facilitate the creation of a collaborative National framework towards the successful implementation of the SDGs,” she said.
According to the Presidential aide the workshop will bring together public and private sector players to discuss the universality of the new SDGs Agenda and its 17 goals. It will alsoÂ provide guidance on creating the right model for the full implementation of the SDG’s in Nigeria.
She said: “The ultimate aim would be to work closely with the private sector to develop initiatives that would address the peculiarities of nationalizing the SDG’s in Nigeria in line with the Universality Agenda.Â The workshop would form the basis for developing a framework for further discussions scheduled for the last quarter of the 2016.”
On September 25, 2015, at the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, member states of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda has a set of 17 SDGs and 169 targets, with a framework for a peaceful, just, equitable and inclusive world. The new development AgendaÂ also aligns with Nigeria’s drive to deliver democratic dividends and improve the lives of the poor.
The 2030 Agenda commits all signatory countries to work together to promote sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development and environmental protection; ensure that every person fulfilled his or her potentials in dignity and equality in a healthy environment.