By Ekemini Ladejobi
New York – The Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, has advocated the formation of broad coalitions around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Onyeama made the suggestion on the sideline of the stakeholder engagement in the implementation of SDGs in Africa at the ongoing 71st UN General Assembly.
“The implementation of the SDGs is a pressing and pivotal task that requires all hands to be on deck and firmly so.
“From inception, the achievement of the SDGs has been predicated on the combined efforts of the sub-national, national, regional and global actors.
“Thus, it is imperative that all stakeholders appreciate the importance of their unique roles in the matrix of the common intent to achieve the SDGs.
Onyeama said the implementation of the new agenda was happening in much tougher times than those which prevailed when the Millennium Development Goals were launched in 2000.
He said although government commitment was vital, it was insufficient on its own.
The minister said the legislative branch of government must be engaged in meaningful ways and must strive to have a development that was inclusive and sustainable.
“Financing for development is critical for results-based implementation of the SDGs.
“All available resources, including financial and technical, must be harnessed for the new agenda, including domestic and international, public and private, and environmental,’’ he said.
Onyeama said generating and sharing new ideas, knowledge, and technologies were fundamental for multi-level engagement to be meaningful.
“This will be significant in achieving the SDGs,” he said.
The minister expressed optimism that the meeting would add considerable value to the efforts of the international community at advancing the implementation of the SDGs in Africa.
“Although the target year of 2030 is 14 years away, we must act as though we have just a few years to implement the plan.
“Nigeria remains ready and committed to play its expected role in the full implementation of the SDGs.
“This event is a step in the right direction in making the SDGs’ vision a reality,” he said.
Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, said the process of domesticating, mainstreaming, prioritising and integrating the SDGs required collaboration.
“We are at the moment in partnership with our Ministry of Budget and National Planning and their counterparts at the state level to integrate the SDGs into the national and state development plans.
“In this regard, we are encouraging peer learning and are consistently showcasing best practice at integration at the sub-national level,’’ she said.
Orelope-Adefulire explained that in deploying the SDGs in Nigeria, government was adopting the bottom-top approach by securing buy-in at the grassroots through high impact interventions.
She said one of such interventions was the Conditional Grants Scheme, acclaimed as a global best practice at the sub-national level.
Ojuolape-Adefulire explained that for effective delivery, government had begun the process of reviewing the implementation of the manual of the Conditional Grants Scheme to enhance ownership and inclusion.
She, however, said that in the face of the prevailing fiscal challenges, it had become urgent to leverage multi-stakeholder engagement to mobilise non-government resources for SDGs implementation.
The event was organised by Nigerian in collaboration with the UN SDGs Action Campaign and the African Network of Parliamentarians. (NAN)
(Edited by Chukwudi Ekezie)