Lagos – The Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, on Wednesday, said developing countries required seven trillion dollars annually to meet the needs of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She made the disclosure at the Nigerian Capital Market Sustainability Seminar organised by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in partnership with Global Reporting Initiative and Ernst &Young in Lagos.
Represented by Mrs Hadiza Alleho, her Special Adviser, the minister spoke on “Making an Impact: Role of the Private Sector in Promoting Good Corporate Practices and Facilitating Investment in SDGs.”
She said that a large share of the resources needed to fund the new agenda would come from the private sector, foundations and investors.
She urged the private sector to find ways of raising funds from international capital markets and through new investment products.
She said microfinance institutions could mobilise savings from small and medium scale enterprises for business activities and investments.
According to her, the private sector should promote avenues for a green economy and leverage on capital investments into the SDG through the “Green Bond.”
Mohammed added that influencing public policy was another avenue through which the private sector could engage in development.
“For the private sector to effectively play its role in SDGs’ implementation, there will be need for change in the business model and strategy,” she noted.
She emphasised that the private sector should move from philanthropy and voluntary corporate social responsibility to innovative financing and smart investments without undermining profitability.
She added that the Federal Government would ensure that the principles of SDGs were integrated into core planning processes and stressed the need for continuous dialogue between the private sector and other development actors to achieve the desired growth.
She noted that “while the government will play as a facilitator role, the private sector needs to be the driver of the SDGs process in the country.”
Mr Joseph Owolabi, an official of West Africa Lead, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, said that strong SDGs would enhance risk management, strengthen corporate strategy and support operational plans and activities.
Owolabi said that organisations should identify the need of the society where they operate and bridge the gap.(NAN)