By John Okeke
As the global community accelerates efforts to achieve the global goals in the decade of action for the Sustainable Development Goals, stakeholders have validated a strategic implementation plan for the attainment of the development agenda in Nigeria.
The document: ‘Nigeria Sustainable Development Goals Implementation Plan (2020 – 2030)’ was unanimously endorsed by over 300 participants drawn from the civil society, public and private sectors at the physical/virtual validation workshop hosted by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs in Abuja on Tuesday.
The document laid out elaborate plans for Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting, Financing, Advocacy, and Sensitization for the SDGs in the next 10 years.
In her remarks, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire said it is important to develop a strategic implementation Plan for the SDGs as Nigeria joins in the decade of action, particularly as the country is developing a successor plan to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP.
“As Nigeria develops a successor development plan to the ERGP in 2020, the mainstreaming of the SDGs into the medium and long-term development plans is imperative. The SDGs are being mainstreamed and integrated into the various thematic areas of the Plan.
“Consequently, SDGs’ implementation and its monitoring shall hinge on the Plan processes. In this ‘Decade of Action’ for the Global Goals, Nigeria will adopt ‘holistic cum heuristic’ approaches and will continue to utilize national development planning as the primary instrument to drive SDGs implementation,” she stated.
The Presidential Aide added that theNigerian government has demonstrated strong commitment in the overall implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, adding that institutional frameworks have been established at the national and sub-national levels to support effective implementation of the global goals.
She reiterated that the SDGs cannot be achieved with stand-alone policies and programmes/projects and therefore, the goals must be deliberately integrated into national and subnational policies and development plans.
“While modest progress has been achieved during the first phase (2016-2020), dwindling financial resources; lack of capacity at the subnational level; persistent insecurity across the country; and COVID-19 pandemic, have all combined to slowdown progress towards the achievement of the SDGs in Nigeria.
The presidential aide further noted that during the ‘Decade of Action’, there is urgent need to build back better from COVID-19 setback and fast-track the achievement of the SDGs and the implementation plan will help to achieve this.
“This National SDGs Implementation Plan offers a coherent roadmap for Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS) for the SDGs. Mainstreaming the SDGs into the national and subnational development Plans is a necessary pre-requisite for effective implementation.
“Effective Integration of the SDGs into sectoral policies and plans requires smart and innovative approaches of identifying ‘influencers’ and ‘accelerators’ among the SDGs. The interconnectedness and inter-linkages of the SDGs provide opportunities for synergies and trade-offs to achieve better outcomes.
Also, Princess Orelope-Adefulire emphasized the need to continually seek creative and innovative financing mechanisms through which public and private resources can be mobilized to support accelerated implementation of SDGs in Nigeria.
“Indeed, to achieve the transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda – ‘Leave no one behind’, we need the expertise and financial resources of all – public and private sector; scientific community; donor community and the wider civil society, ”Princess Orelope-Adefulire stated.