President Muhammadu Buhari said on Friday that the coronavirus pandemic was threatening the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Buhari, however, assured that Nigeria was addressing the threats by re-dedicating efforts toward economic diversification, agriculture and the mining sectors.
The Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”.
The SDGs, set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and intended to be achieved by the year 2030, are part of a UN Resolution called “The 2030 Agenda”.
Buhari told the UN audience in a video message that Nigeria will engage the services of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members across the country and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Ambassadors to champion the implementation of SDGs 2030 at the grassroots.
He provided an update on SDG progress in the country, setting out Nigeria’s vision for the next decade in fighting poverty, combating illicit financial flows and ensuring economic recovery amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our National Assembly has established Committees on Sustainable Development Goals.
”The National Youth Service Corps Scheme is also ensuring that Nigerian graduates actively participate in SDGs implementation processes by serving as SDGs champions at the grassroots.
”Going forward, we will invigorate the Goal achievement process at the grassroots by engaging the services of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals Ambassadors we appointed to support our efforts at the national level.
”We will also encourage more sub-national authorities to appoint and train SDGs Champions,” the president said in a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
Re-affirming Nigeria’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other Internationally Agreed Development Goals, Buhari told the meeting that anti-corruption institutions had been strengthened to effectively combat illicit financial flows and recover proceeds.
”Nigeria has also set up a Model Private Sector Advisory Group and an SDGs Donors’ Forum with a view to engaging critical stakeholders towards the attainment of the SDGs.”
The President recalled that Nigeria presented its second Voluntary National Review on SDGs to the UN High-Level Political Forum in July 2020.
“The second Voluntary National Review highlighted our efforts to meet SDGs targets on the critical issues of poverty and an inclusive economy; health and well-being; education and gender equality; enabling environment of peace and security and partnerships.”
He noted that these targets were based on current development priorities as captured in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020), as well as the Medium Term National Development Plan (2020-2025).
The President also used the occasion of his address to pledge Nigeria’s commitment to mainstreaming the SDGs into subsequent development plans.
Setting out Nigeria’s vision for the Decade of Action, Buhari promised that the country will implement unique initiatives such as the re-aligned National Statistical System to effectively track and monitor the implementation of the SDGs on annual basis.
”The Nigeria Integrated SDG simulation Model to support the domestication of the Planning Model across the 36 states; the Integrated National Financing Frameworks for SDGs.