Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, SSAP- SDGs has advocated the use of goals and targets set out in the SDGs as indicators of the progress being made by the country implementation of the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, NERGP.
The Presidential aide spoke at a one day sensitization and capacity building workshop for Directors of PRS, State SDGs focal persons and SDGs desk officers at the weekend.
The sensitization and capacity building workshop with the title ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Performance Indicators, Tracking and Reporting of SDGs Implementation in Nigeria” was organized by the OSSAP-SDGs with the collaboration and technical support of PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC), a member of the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) on the SDGs.
According SSAP-SDGs, benchmarking achievements being recorded in the implementation of the NERGP against targets and goals set out in the development framework will focus unprecedented attention on the SDGs as the basic building blocks for national growth.
The SSAP-SDGs noted that the Ministry of Budget and National Planning is developing the Implementation Plan for the recently launched National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (NERGP). Core areas of SDGs have been mainstreamed into the NERGP.
“The robust integration of the SDGs into the NERGP provides that common plan with which different stakeholders in Nigeria can address many of the challenges being faced today, including poverty eradication.”
She noted that in its role as the coordinator of the implementation of the development framework in Nigeria, her off has already undertaken a number of activities to provide strategic direction and impetus to the national commitment on the SDGs.
Such activities, she noted include development of Action Plan to guide SDGs implementation; rollout of SDGs Needs Assessment and Costing Exercise in partnership with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, the MDAs as well as the UNDP; data Mapping and Determination of 126 Baseline SDGs Indicators to benchmark progress through partnership with the National Bureau of Statistics and partnership Agreement with United Nations Development Programme to mainstream the SDGs at both the Federal and subnational levels;
This, she noted, is in addition to establishment of institutional mechanisms such as the Presidential Council on SDGs, SDGs Committees in both chambers of the National Assembly, Inter-Ministerial Committee for MDAs coordination and a sub national partnership framework through the Conditional Grants Scheme; and multi-Stakeholder engagement mechanisms such as the Private Sector Advisory Group, Donors’ Partnership Forum on SDGs, Civil Society Strategy Group on SDGs, amongst others as well as mobilization of influencers such as SDGs Ambassadors and SDGs Champions for SDGs advocacy.
She therefore urged all stakeholders to make concerted efforts to ensure that the SDGs take center-stage in development planning and execution while embracing smart partnerships to accelerate progress on its implementation.
While also harping on the need for partnership in the implementation for the development agenda, Mrs Marie Atoki, senior manager, PWC in her lecture titled, “Policy gaps for the SDGs” noted that 64.2 percent of the people in Nigeria live under extreme poverty, hence the need to scale up, collaborate and support the SDGs.
She added that that it is important to prioritize, localize the goals to the grassroots level and understand where the gaps in their achievements re and close them.
In his presentation titled “The role of UNDP in Nigeria”, Mr. Yinka posited that the SDGs is a framework that needs to be worked on aggressively by all using the right strategies. He said the UNDP framework under 2018 – 2022 focuses on development, effective partnership and empowerment.
He noted that targeting women especially at the grassroots is very important stressing that if you change the status of women positively, it would change the society for the better. He challenged Nigeria to take the lead in championing the cause of the SDGS and thereby guide the rest of Africa and the world. He advised Nigeria to be strategic in planning so as to attract international support.
Mr. Yinka hinted that UNDP is making plans to offer assistance to some African and Asian countries for women development, adding that the agency is interested in key programs, accountability, human rights and what is happening at the federal state and local government’s levels.
He urged Nigeria to embark on programs that invest in people, building a competitive economy and enhancing education in way and manner that would enhance human development.