By Ezeocha Nzeh
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire, has solicited the support of the media for the success of the 2030 Agenda in Nigeria, especially with the onset of the Decade of Global Goals.
The Presidential Aide who asked for the support at a strategic retreat for journalists and media organization held in Abuja on Thursday said the support of the media is pertinent because by their training, journalists have the capacity to engage actively with the public and private sectors towards the achievement of the SDGs in Nigeria.
While noting that the 17 SDGs are a universal call to end poverty, safeguard the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by the year 2030, Princess Orelope-Adefulire pointed out that SDG-16, which aims to ‘Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels’ succinctly captures the strategic roles of Journalists.
She noted that specifically, Target-10 provides that countries should ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.
The Presidential Aide therefore urged journalists to see themselves as part of a larger team committed to the transformative promise of SDGs to lift humanity and ‘leave no one behind’.
The SSAP-SDGs also informed journalists at the retreat that despite the challenges confronting the country, Nigeria has made progress since President Muhammadu Buhari joined other World Leaders during the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2015 to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
She noted that the Federal Government, the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory have established institutional mechanisms for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda which, she noted, envision a present and a future that is economically sustainable, social inclusive and environmentally resilient.
The Presidential Aside further noted that the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs) was established in January 2016 to provide horizontal and vertical inter-governmental coordination; multi-stakeholders’ partnership and resource mobilization; as well as robust advocacy and communications for the SDGs in Nigeria.
OSSAP-SDGs, through its Conditional Grant Programme, CSGs, she said, had in the past five years supported governments at the sub-national levels and other stakeholders on projects and initiatives aimed at achieving the 17 goals of the SDGs.
She also said working with the subnational governments, other stakeholders as well as its local and foreign partners OSSAP-SDGs has established framework, processes and strategic initiatives designed to aid the success of the 2030 Agenda in Nigeria.
The Presidential Aide listed these to include the include the Development of a Country Transition Strategy – From MDGs to SDGs – 2016; SDGs Data Mapping and the Publication of Nigeria SDGs-Indicators Baseline Report -2017; Integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the SDGs into the Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan ;Domestication and Customisation of the Nigeria Integrated Sustainable Development Goals (iSDGs) Policy Simulation Model -2019 as well as ongoing Re-alignment of the National Statistic System (NSS) with the requirements and Indicators of the SDGs.
She also told journalists that OSSAP-SDGs has commenced the design and implementation of the Integrated National Financing Frameworks (INFFs) for the SDGs and presented Nigeria’s 2nd Voluntary National Review (VNR) to the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development in July 2020.
While reiterating her commitment to the to the successful implementation of the SDGs Nigeria navigate the ‘Decade of Action’ for the Global Goals, Princess Orelope-Adefulire noted that through there are challenges, they are not insurmountable if all Nigerians work together.
“The challenges we face in our efforts to achieve the SDGs are numerous, complex and multi-faceted. Nevertheless, with all stakeholders working together and in synergy – as exemplified in what we are doing here, we will certainly overcome,” she said.