By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday in the State House, Abuja inaugurated the Presidential Council on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
At the event, the vice-president said the implementation of SDGs would empower girls and women, and also bridge the gap on gender inequality.
According to him, the implementation of the SDGs would have impact on Nigerian cities as well as the quality of lives of those who live in them.
He also said failure to achieve the SDGs would have “existential implications” for both the current and unborn generations, pointing out that achievements of the goals would equal a quantum of socio-economic leap for Nigeria.
“We are, therefore, in a real sense, a generation at the threshold of history, saddled with the responsibility of bringing about the change that will alter our development trajectory for the benefit of our people and planet.
“The Presidential Council on SDGs will provide policy direction for the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria, and ensure that there is coherence at the national and sub-national levels. This councilâ€™s work will be crucial for resource mobilisation, prioritisation of interventions, periodic assessment, as well as the overall oversight of SDGs implementation,” Osinbajo added.
In her own speech, Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, recalled that Nigeria joined other United Nations (UN) member-states to adopt the SDGs at the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015.
Describing the SDGs framework as a global platform for poverty eradication which has 2030 as its deadline, Adefulire said SDGs is an independent and inter-related agenda “meant to galvanize development planning and execution worldwide” in the next one and half decade.
She said the Council inaugurated by Osinbajo would leverage on multi-stakeholders’ partnerships for accelerated progress on SDGs, adding that the council would provide strong political leadership and oversight function for the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria; create opportunity for multi-level and multi-stakeholders consensus building, representation, partnership and feedback; lead resource mobilisation efforts for the attainment of the SDGs; periodically assess, monitor and review SDGs progress against pre-determined set of indicators; convene meetings of the Council at least once a quarter and appoint sub-committees, clusters and working groups as may be deemed necessary from time to time.
Present at the inauguration were Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Barnabas Bantex; representative of the Senate President and Chairman of the Senate Committee on SGDs, Senator Attai Aidoko Ali, Acting Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Habiba Lawal, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, his counterpart in Health Ministry, Isaac Adewole; Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba, representative of the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Samuel Sawyer, and Chairman of the Private Advisory Group on SDGs, Tonye Cole, among others.