Orelope-Adefulire: Nigeria Has Defined Pathway to Attain the SDGs

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Abimbola Akosile

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire has revealed that Nigeria has a clearly defined path towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda by the target date of 2030.
The presidential aide disclosed this while presenting Nigeria’s Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, at the ongoing United Nations High-Level Political Forum in New York, USA.

She, however, added that “strong commitment and collaboration of all stakeholders is necessary if the quest to bequeath to the ‘people a desired future in which no one is left behind’ as stated in the SDGs agenda is to be achieved.

“I wish to reaffirm that Nigeria has clearly defined her path to the 2030 Agenda. We count on the strong patriotism and goodwill of the citizenry, the commitment of the stakeholders as well as the support from the global fraternity of nations to ensure that no Nigerian is left behind,” the presidential aide said.

Orelope-Adefulire, in a release issued by her Media Assistant, Mr. Desmond Utomwen, noted that following the adoption of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, Nigeria has made significant progress in mainstreaming the SDGs into her national development plan.

The Nigerian government, she said, has remained resolute and undeterred in making the required progress in the face of economic recession, the humanitarian crisis in the North-east and the persistent militancy in the Niger Delta, which has threatened to further slow-down the drive at implementing the SDGs.

She listed some of the pro-poor and pro-development programmes by the government targeted at achieving the SDGs to include: an ambitious Social Investment Scheme targeted at the extremely poor and vulnerable; home-grown school feeding programme for public school children; government enterprise and empowerment programme for unemployed youths and women economic empowerment; N-Power Programme for job creation for the youths as well as Women’s Economic Empowerment Scheme, and the Conditional Grant Scheme, which has also continued to function as the social development project at the sub-national level.

“In addition, government has prioritised economic diversification, industrialisation, energy, agriculture, food security as well as a stable and inclusive macroeconomic environment in the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020). The plan is designed to manage the economic transition from contracted GDP to the path of inclusive growth, sustainable development and a more assured trajectory of universal prosperity.
“We have also initiated the process for the establishment of a Presidential Council for the SDGs to provide high-level policy guidance and leadership as well as direction on implementation of the SDGs. Furthermore, to enhance the legislative and oversight roles of the parliament, two standing committees on the SDGs have been established in both the Senate and the House of Representatives,” the SSAP-SDGs noted.

According to her “Beyond the very robust institutional arrangement for SDGs implementation, Nigeria has strengthened the national awareness around the global goals and put in place mechanisms for identifying and targeting the poor through a ‘National Social Register’ in order to ensure that ‘no one is left behind.”

“We have taken active steps to mainstream the 2030 Agenda into national, state and sectoral policies, plans and budgets. We have also commenced work on SDGs needs assessment, policy and scenario analysis, indicator capturing as well as tracking and reporting. In the same regard, we have finalised a SDGs Baseline Survey to address the lack of accurate and reliable data for planning and tracking performance across the three tiers of government,” she added.

Orelope-Adefulire also seized the opportunity to call on the Global North to fulfil their commitment on Official Development Assistance (ODA) in line with the Addis-Ababa Action Agenda to complement the country’s effort at expanding government revenue base and other reform measures aimed at enhancing Nigeria’s domestic resources mobilisation.

She revealed that Nigeria was willing to collaborate with other African countries to develop similar models and host the Secretariat for the Private Sector Advisory Group for the continent.

This, she said, would help replicate the collaboration and partnership with the private sector in terms of commitment to resource mobilisation, which has been adjudged successful in Nigeria.

The UN High-Level Political Forum presents offers an opportunity for knowledge exchange and sharing of best practices in the implementation of the new global development agenda among countries.