8th February, 2018
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed has commended the progress recorded so far by Nigeria in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mohammed said in her remarks at Commission on Social Development side event at UN Headquarters, New York, entitled: “Poverty eradication: from policy to local action”.
The SDGs, otherwise known as 2030 Agenda, is the most ambitious plan governments have ever developed to eradicate extreme poverty and safeguard our planet by the year 2030.
Mohammed said: “Across Nigeria, local initiatives led by state governments, civil society actors and financiers are making outstanding contributions to poverty reduction.
“The Ekuri Initiative, for example, which is located in the Cross River, seeks to sustainably manage the forest as a community asset, generating income, subsistence materials and food.
“The Smallholders Foundation is using rural radio broadcasts to educate 250,000 farmers on modern agricultural and environmental management techniques.
“This is to provide up-to-date market information, and give farmers a platform on which to advertise their products. Nigeria, like many African countries, is at a crossroads.
“The country has an opportunity to build on recent economic, political and social gains and to leverage its vast human and natural resources to eradicate poverty.”
The UN deputy scribe, however, regretted that many internal conflicts were challenging the genuine efforts of Nigeria’s leaders to achieve the developmental agenda.
“This includes the insurgency in the north-east, the issue of militancy in the Niger Delta and disputes between herders and farmers, thus undermining and reversing development gains.”
“To address these challenges, we must prioritise an integrated response to peace, security, human rights and development.
“And we must improve our efforts to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts while promoting inclusive, sustained and equitable development. Harnessing the power of partnerships will be critical.
“We must deepen the joint and coordinated efforts of the federal government, state governments, local authorities, private sector and civil society organisations. Nigeria has taken concrete steps in this direction.”
Mohammed said under the leadership of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria launched the first national Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) on SDGs.
According to her, the measure is to coordinate public-private partnerships and amplify locally-driven solutions to achieve the SDG’s.
She said the PSAG includes 13 diverse partners, including Lagos Business School, the Dangote Group, General Electric and the Sahara.
Mohammed said Durban, South Africa and Cauayan City in the Philippines had aligned their development plans with the SDG targets, while local governments in Benin had made SDGs progress a condition for accessing national funding.
“Meanwhile, Kaduna State in Nigeria conducted a robust multi-level data exercise to analyze how all of its residents, SDGs. We need more of these local SDGs leaders.
“To achieve the SDGs, all communities must be engaged substantively. As a former minister, I know the important role of community-focused programmes and projects.
“In my current role, I see, even more clearly, the value of local actions in realising global development efforts. organisations such as yours complement national and local governments,” she said.
The deputy UN chief said the SDGs Centre for Africa was another inspiring example of partnership mobilisation to achieve the SDGs.
Chaired by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Aliko Dangote, Chairman of the Dangote Group, the Centre brings together national governments, civil society and private sector leaders to collectively devise SDGs solutions.
Such solutions include advancing inter-country projects on sustainable infrastructure and development of new platforms to better connect communities to achieve the SDGs.
“Meanwhile, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has stimulated inspiring partnerships between the Ministers, immunisation and health experts in Nigerian States and private sector companies to strengthen vaccine cold chain infrastructure in Nigeria.
“Together with initiatives such as Project Last Mile and Coca-Cola, the Foundation aims to increase the number of Nigerian children who can access life-ensuring vaccines, with the focus on the most vulnerable and hardest to reach children.
“UNDP is also partnering with the relevant authorities to promote SDGs localisation in Anambra, Benue, Kaduna and Kogi States, and to support implementation and monitoring of SDGs-based State Development Plans.”