The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SSAP-SDGs) Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, has advocated the use of goals and targets set out in the SDGs as indicators of the progress being made by the country’s implementation of the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (NERGP).
The Presidential aide spoke at a one-day sensitisation and capacity building workshop for Directors of PRS, State SDGs focal persons and SDGs desk officers in Abuja recently.
The sensitisation and capacity building workshop with the title ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Performance Indicators, Tracking and Reporting of SDGs Implementation in Nigeria’ was organised by the OSSAP-SDGs with the collaboration and technical support of PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC), a member of the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) on the SDGs.
According to the SSAP-SDGs, benchmarking achievements being recorded in the implementation of the NERGP against targets and goals set out in the development framework would focus unprecedented attention on the SDGs as the basic building blocks for national growth.
The SSAP-SDGs noted that “the Ministry of Budget and National Planning is developing the Implementation Plan for the recently launched National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (NERGP). Core areas of SDGs have been mainstreamed into the NERGP.
“The robust integration of the SDGs into the NERGP provides that common plan with which different stakeholders in Nigeria can address many of the challenges being faced today, including poverty eradication,” she added, in a release issued by the Media Assistant, SSAP-SDGs, Mr. Desmond Utomwen.
She noted that in its role as the coordinator of the implementation of the development framework in Nigeria, her office has already undertaken a number of activities to provide strategic direction and impetus to the national commitment on the SDGs.
Such activities, she noted include development of Action Plan to guide SDGs implementation; rollout of SDGs Needs Assessment and Costing Exercise in partnership with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, the MDAs as well as the UNDP; data Mapping and Determination of 126 Baseline SDGs Indicators to benchmark progress through partnership with the National Bureau of Statistics and partnership agreement with the United Nations Development Programme to mainstream the SDGs at both the federal and sub-national levels;
This, she noted, was in addition to establishment of institutional mechanisms such as the Presidential Council on SDGs, SDGs Committees in both chambers of the National Assembly, Inter-Ministerial Committee for MDAs coordination and a sub-national partnership framework through the Conditional Grants Scheme; and multi-stakeholder engagement mechanisms such as the Private Sector Advisory Group, Donors’ Partnership Forum on SDGs, Civil Society Strategy Group on SDGs, among others, as well as mobilisation of influencers such as SDGs Ambassadors and SDGs Champions for SDGs advocacy.
She therefore urged all stakeholders to make concerted efforts to ensure that the SDGs take centre-stage in development planning and execution while embracing smart partnerships to accelerate progress on its implementation.
While also harping on the need for partnership in the implementation for the development agenda, senior manager, PWC, Mrs. Marie Atoki, in her lecture titled, ‘Policy gaps for the SDGs’ noted that 64.2 per cent of the people in Nigeria live under extreme poverty, hence the need to scale up, collaborate and support the SDGs.
She added that that it is important to prioritise and localise the goals to the grassroots level and understand where the gaps in their achievements are and close them.
In his presentation titled ‘The role of UNDP in Nigeria’, Mr. Yinka posited that the SDGs are a framework that needs to be worked on aggressively by all using the right strategies. He said the UNDP framework under 2018 – 2022 focuses on development, effective partnership and empowerment.
He noted that targeting women especially at the grassroots is very important, stressing that “if you change the status of women positively, it would change the society for the better”. He challenged Nigeria to take the lead in championing the cause of the SDGS and thereby guide the rest of Africa and the world. He advised Nigeria to be strategic in planning so as to attract international support.
Yinka hinted that UNDP was making plans to offer assistance to some African and Asian countries for women development, adding that the agency is interested in key programmes, accountability, human rights and what is happening at the federal, state and local government levels.
He urged Nigeria to embark on programmes that invest in people, building a competitive economy and enhancing education in way and manner that would enhance human development.