By Cecilia Ologunagba
Abuja – The Federal Government says it is reviewing the Vision 20:2020 to align it with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure effective implementation.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said this at the two-day Learning Conference on Sustainable Development Goals on Wednesday in Abuja.
Ahmed said that Nigeria’s National Development Plan was closely aligned with the vision of the SDGs.
She, however, added that the conference should take note that the agenda would remain mere words if not effectively implemented.
She said “it will be worthwhile to outline among the discourse, what it will take to achieve this bold new agenda; such as strong national ownership and political will.
“Many countries have been working to integrate the SDGs into their national policy frameworks and plans.’’
The minister said that the aspect of finance was critical and that all available resources — domestic and international, public and private – must be sourced for the new agenda.
Ahmed said that Official Development Assistance (ODA) would remain important, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable countries.
She explained that ODA would also be important for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States which struggled to raise significant domestic revenue and attract private finance.
“Generating and sharing new ideas, knowledge and technologies as highlighted on the SDGs show that every country has relevant experience to share and new things to learn.
“Multilateral and institutional cooperation play growing role in development, as evidenced by this learning conference, and it is greatly valued by developing countries.
“It will be significant in achieving the SDGs in future.’’
The minister noted that credible investments made at the conference would help to focus the efforts of development actors, non-state actors and resources at various levels toward a common purpose and vision for Africa.
Mrs Adejoke Ore-Adefulire, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, said that the National Strategy for Private Sector Engagement on the SDGs had been developed.
Ore-Adefulire, represented by Mr Waziri Laminu, the SDGs Secretary of Programme, said the strategy would serve as a compact to guide the unique relationship between the public and private sectors.
“We are replicating this best practice with other stakeholders such as the academia, civil society and international development partners to mobilise resources for successful implementation of the SDGs.
“Similar compacts have also been developed and are being deployed to guide the work of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on SDGs and Conditional Grants Scheme to states and local governments.
“Our drive for resource mobilisation is backed by empirical evidence.
“We have established an Inter-Ministerial Working Group on SDGs Needs Assessment and Costing.”
Ore-Adefulire said that the group would allow sectoral costing of all interventions required to achieve the SDGs.
She said it would also help to align the mid-term strategies of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to government’s fiscal framework and the national budget.
She added that “we have resolved to work with diverse stakeholders to build the consensus required to successfully implement the SDGs in Nigeria.
“I am convinced that by working together, we bring remarkable improvement to the lives of the people.”
Earlier, Nikhil Seth, the Assistant-Secretary, UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and Executive Director, said that the conference was part of long-term strategy of UNITAR.
Nikhil said the conference was also part of the long-term strategy to provide learning and knowledge support to LDCS on mainstreaming the SDGs in LDCS.
“The conference will provide common space for a `whole of government’ and `whole of society’ plenary discussions, as well as specialised sessions for experts with similar background.
“There is huge scope for us all to take action, to work together to ensure global agreements are implemented at regional, national and local levels, taking into account the lives of those most vulnerable and further behind,’’ he said.
The conference, which had “Holistic Approach for Implementation of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” was jointly organised by Federal Government and UNITAR for selected LDCs in Africa.