Efforts of the Federal Government to effectively domesticate and implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) got a big boost in Abuja with the United Nations pledging its partnership and support to Nigeria to deliver on the implementation of the SDGs.
The pledge was made when the Global Director of the United Nations SDG Action Campaign, Mr. Mitchell Toomey paid a courtesy visit to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire. Mr. Toomey commended the Federal Government of Nigeria for taking policy, institutional, and financial steps towards providing the needed environment for the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria. Specifically, he noted that Nigeria was amongst the first countries to establish a special high-level office in the presidency to coordinate the implementation of the SDGs. He also commended Nigeria for its multi-stakeholder approach in implementing the SDGs. Through this approach, Nigeria has been able to set up structures which will support the engagement of the private sector, civil society and other non-state actors. According to Mr Toomey: “the SDGs are about the people. The formulation of the SDGs saw one of the most inclusive and consultative processes in the history of the United Nations, involving the Member states, civil society, private sector, parliamentarians, local authorities, faith leaders amongst other. The implementation should therefore be founded upon broad-based partnerships and contributions from every segment of the society”.
The UN Chief congratulated Nigeria for being a candidate country in the 2017 Voluntary National Reviews of the SDGs, a global process through which national implementation of the SDGs are reviewed. This move according to him, is a mark of Nigeria’s openness and commitment to implementing the SDGs.
Responding, Princess Orelope-Adefulire acknowledged the historical partnership existing between Nigeria and the UN SDG Action Campaign dating back to its processor, the UN Millennium Campaign. She pledged the continuation of this unique partnership and called on the SDG Action Campaign to devise effective means of ensuring the SDGs are promoted and owned by peoples of the world. The Presidential Assistant assured that the “current administration in Nigeria is committed to faithfully implementing the SDGs and ensuring that no Nigerian is left behind.” She noted that “in spite of the current economic realities, Nigeria has continued to commit funds to the SDGs and in social investments in two successive national budgets.”