President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria will engage the services of NYSC members and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Ambassadors across the country to champion the implementation of SDGs 2030 at the grassroots.
The president’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja, said that Buhari stated this on Friday at the virtual inaugural SDGs Moment, convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, during the high-level week of the 75th UN General Assembly.
In his video message to the meeting, Buhari gave an update on the progress in SDGs implementation in the country.
He outlined Nigeria’s vision for the next decade in fighting poverty, combating illicit financial flows and ensuring economic recovery amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our National Assembly has established Committees on Sustainable Development Goals.
“The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme is also ensuring that Nigerian graduates actively participate in SDGs implementation processes by serving as SDGs champions at the grassroots.
“Going forward, we will invigorate the goals achievement process at the grassroots by engaging the services of the 17 SDGs Ambassadors who we appointed to support our efforts at the national level.
“We will also encourage more sub-national authorities to appoint and train SDGs Champions,” he said.
Besides, the president re-affirmed Nigeria’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other Internationally Agreed Development Goals.
He also told the meeting that anti-corruption institutions had been strengthened to enable his administration to effectively combat illicit financial flows and recover proceeds.
He, however, conceded that the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic had threatened to derail efforts to achieve SDGs.
Buhari said that Nigeria was addressing the threat by strengthening its economic diversification efforts, with a focus on agriculture and the mining sectors.
“Nigeria has made good strides in SDGs domestication processes, as we have commenced the re-alignment of the National Statistical System with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs.
“We have developed a novel home-grown ‘Integrated Sustainable Development Goals Model’ as an analytical framework for assessing how policymaking can better address the indivisible nature of the SDGs.
“Nigeria has also set up a Model Private Sector Advisory Group and an SDGs Donors’ Forum, with a view to engaging critical stakeholders towards the attainment of the SDGs,” he added.
The president recalled that Nigeria presented its second Voluntary National Review on SDGs to the UN High-Level Political Forum in July 2020.
He said that the second Voluntary National Review highlighted the nation’s efforts to meet SDGs targets on the critical issues of poverty and an inclusive economy; health and well-being; education and gender equality; enabling environment for peace and security; and partnerships.
He noted that these targets were based on current development priorities, as captured in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020), as well as the Medium Term National Development Plan (2020-2025).
Buhari also pledged Nigeria’s commitment to mainstreaming the SDGs into subsequent development plans.
While setting out Nigeria’s vision for the Decade of Action, the president stressed that Nigeria would implement unique initiatives such as the re-aligned National Statistical System to effectively track and monitor the SDGs implementation on annual basis.
He said that other initiatives included the Nigeria Integrated SDGs Simulation Model — to support the domestication of the Planning Model across the 36 states — and the Integrated National Financing Frameworks for SDGs.
The president added that government would ensure smooth implementation of the scaled-up National Social Investment Programme so as to reach more poor and vulnerable Nigerians, in line with the government’s commitment to lifting 100 million people out of poverty within a 10-year period.
“We will be engaging all segments of the society for the achievement of the SDGs,” he added.