UNGA: Tinubu’s Aide, Others Call for Increased Investments in SDGs

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja and Ugo Aliogo in Lagos

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, has joined leaders and experts from around the world to call for increased investments and alignments of resources from public and private sources to accelerate progress on the delivery of the 2030 agenda.

Orelope-Adefulire, made the call while speaking at a high-level event held at the margins of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) in New York.

The event was tagged: “Accelerating SDGs Progress Through National Financing Strategies and Integrated National Financing Frameworks (INFFs).”

It was organised by the governments of Nigeria and Indonesia, in collaboration with key partners including the INFF facility, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Budget Partnership (IBP), among others.

The programme was aimed at shedding light on the critical role of national financing strategies and INFFs in achieving SDGs.

It also provided a platform for countries to share their experiences, challenges, and solutions related to financing strategies and furthering the global conversation on how INFFs and national financing strategies can drive progress towards the SDGs.

Speaking at the event, Orelope-Adefulire acknowledged the transformative potential of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and the commitment of development partners, particularly the United Nations, in advancing the global agenda.

She noted that Nigeria, in alignment with its national development priorities, had integrated the SDGs into key policy documents, including the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), among others.

Highlighting Nigeria’s pioneering role, Orelope-Adefulire noted that the country made history with the launch of her INFF report at the UNGA last year.

She emphasised that the INFF serves as a vital planning tool to enhance sustainable development financing at the national levels, in line with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

The senior special assistant reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to leveraging the INFF framework, especially in light of global fiscal challenges.

She underscored the importance of mobilising both domestic and international resources to finance sustainable development, highlighting the need for investments in the public sector to be aligned with the SDGs.

She also expressed Nigeria’s intent to prioritise investments with multiplier effects on all the SDGs and to strengthen partnerships with the UN development system, the private sector, and non-state actors.

Also speaking, the Deputy Executive Director of Partnerships, UNICEF, Ms. Kitty van der Heijden, noted that INFF was significant as an instrument for prioritising expenditures in favour of social and environmental sectors in an inclusive way.

She particularly lauded Nigeria’s efforts in exploring the possibility of aligning the national and sub-national budget allocations with the SDGs.

 Heijden, further stated that to deliver on the SDGs, countries needed a strategic mix of public and private capital, in addition to the call by the UN secretary-general for SDG stimulus.

This position was re-echoed by Mr. Haoliang Xu, Under Secretary-General and Associate Administrator, UNDP, who added that the effort by Nigeria was a worthy example for other UN member-states to adopt.

The High-Level event featured other distinguished speakers, including Ms. Raden Siliwanti, Director for Multilateral Funding at the Ministry of National Development Planning in Indonesia and Mr. Li Junhua, Under Secretary-General of UNDESA.

Others included: Mansur Mukhtar, former Minister of Finance, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations and former President of the 74th session of the UNGA, Ms. Ana Patricia Muñoz.

Also present were the Executive Director of IBP, Ms. Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen, Vice President of the Office of Development Policy, and Mr. Patrick Rabe, UN Partnerships Team Lead at the European Commission.

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