Nigeria committed to SDGs - Udoma


Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister of Budget and National Planning.

Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister of Budget and National Planning.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen Udoma Udo Udoma, on Wednesday reiterated Nigeria’s commitment towards mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its national plans.

Udoma said this at the Annual High Level Policy Dialogue on Development Planning in Africa (HLPD), with the theme, “Mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals into National Development Plans’’ in Abuja.

Udoma, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Fatima Mede, urged participants to promote coordination and coherence among African planners in domesticating and mainstreaming SDGs in their national plans.

“As we make efforts to mainstream the SDGs in our respective national plans, let us not forget to do same for the African-focused Agenda 2063.

“The point of emphasis must be social development for our people, inclusive economic development for prosperity, inclusive societies and responsive institutions for peace and environmental sustainability for the planet.

“I challenge you to think through the possible connections and synergies that can be formed across African countries in mainstreaming the SDGs in our national plans,’’ he said.

The minister expressed optimism that participants at the end of the forum would be better equipped on best approaches and tools to mainstream the SDGs into their respective national development planning processes.

The HLPD 2017 is aimed at brainstorming on the modalities for mainstreaming SDGs into national development planning process with emphasis on policy planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

According to the minister, the overall goal of the event is to ensure the effective implementation of SDGs for all Africans through improving lives of the people on the continent.

He said the event was timely as many African countries were in the process of fine-tuning their national development plans and seeking out ways to mainstream the SDGs into their national plans.

The minister said Nigeria had made significant progress in mainstreaming the SDGs into its national plan, adding that concerted efforts were being made to mainstream it into the annual budgets at the federal and state levels.

Udoma said the ambitious nature of the SDGs compared to the MDGs offered additional opportunity for African countries to use SDGs to foster inclusive and sustained economic progress.

“This can only be achieved by creating decent jobs, eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities, promoting peace and security and building excellent infrastructure and good governance.’’
Also speaking, Mr Edward Kallon, UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP resident

Representative said the event came at a time when Nigerian economy registered negative growth for the fifth consecutive quarter.

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Kallon said Nigeria was also faced with protracted humanitarian crises, high poverty rates and climate vulnerabilities among others.

He urged the government to seize this opportunity to address the shortcomings of the past; seek durable solutions and place the country on a positive growth and a sustainable development trajectory.

“ We can make it a memorable moment in time by embracing economic diversification, creating decent jobs and internalising the tenets of sustainable development.

“Today’s occasion offers an excellent opportunity for us to dialogue on development planning in different countries and situational contexts, with the ultimate goal of realising sustainable development in Africa.

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On challenges of SDGs, Kallon said they could be tackled by addressing weak statistical capacities and dearth of comprehensive, reliable and up-to-date data for objective policy and programme design.

He said it was also important to track progress on specific SDG indicators.

The Director, Capacity Development Division, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Mr Stephen Karingi, said the ECA had recognised the need to provide tailored capacity building advisory services to member states.

This, Karingi said was in the areas of development planning and statistics, including SDGs mainstreaming to support Africa’s quest for inclusive sustainable transformation and development.

He commended member states for embarking on the domestication process in earnest and expressed commitment of the ECA to collaborate with the UN in developing the country’s technical cooperation programme.

The international community had in Sept. 2015 adopted the 2030 agenda for sustainable development as a universal applicable framework for sustainable development for 2016 to 2030.

During this period, the agenda is expected to guide national policies and plans of developing and developed countries toward a common development vision.

In spite of its remarkable economic performance, Africa’s growth has not been sufficient to bring about social and economic transformation especially social benefits.

The HLPD 2017 was jointly organised by the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.