Tijjani Abdulkadir Jobe

Abimbola Akosile

The All African Parliamentary Conference on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will bring together about 100 parliamentarians from across national and regional parliamentary institutions in Africa, is billed to take place today in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

According to a letter made available to THISDAY, the National Assembly of Nigeria and the ECOWAS Parliament in partnership with the United Nations SDG Action Campaign and the African Network of Parliamentarians on the SDGs will be hosting this regional parliamentary conference on the SDGs.

The letter was jointly signed by Chairman, Committee on the SDGs, House of Representatives, Nigeria and Chairman, Conference Organising Committee, Hon Tijjani Abdulkadir Jobe, and the Acting Regional Coordinator, Africa UN Millennium Campaign/UN SDG Action Campaign, Mr. Hilary Ogbonna.

It recalled that at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, which took place at the UN headquarters in New York, USA, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after its expiration on December 31, 2015.

According to the letter, “Effective domestication of the 17 SDGs and 169 targets at national and sub-national levels will depend largely on concrete parliamentary o
wnership and actions towards enabling legislations, appropriation, oversight and monitoring of the SDGs.
“This conference will be the first gathering of African parliamentarians convened for the sole purpose of discussing parliamentary engagement with the SDGs since the latter were adopted.
“Towards this end, the National Assembly of Nigeria and the ECOWAS Parliament in partnership with the United Nations SDG Action Campaign and the African Network of Parliamentarians on the SDGs will be hosting this regional parliamentary conference on the SDGs”, it added.

To the organisers, the conference is aimed at promoting solidarity, cooperation and learning amongst African parliaments in order to build capacity, promote partnerships and foster parliamentary engagement with the SDGs and to contribute to the process of domestication, institutionalisation, implementation and monitoring of the SDGs at regional, national and sub-national levels in Africa.

Also, the forum is to be attended by representatives from regional and national parliamentary bodies in Africa, including the Pan African Parliament, the East African Legislative Assembly and the SADC Parliamentary Forum.
“The conference is billed to take place in Abuja from March 9 to 11. The General Assembly of the African Network of Parliamentarians on the SDGs will hold on March 9. We believe that this conference provides an opportunity for the Parliaments to show leadership and promote partnership for parliamentary engagement with the domestication and implementation of the SDGs at national and sub-regional levels”, the letter added.

To help ensure rapid development, Nigeria’s National Assembly has moved to spearhead the vital parliamentary interventions on the SDGs in Africa, and the House Committee on the SDGs, headed by Hon. Jobe, is the first of its kind in Africa. Also, Senator Ali Ndume, who chaired the former Senate Committee on the MDGs, is currently coordinating activities on the SDGs at the upper legislative House.