Richard Ginika Izuora
President Muhammadu Buhari, has selected the National Youth Service Corps members to lead the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 at the grassroots.
They would be joined by “17 SDG Ambassadors” to champion the implementation of projects in the country.
He disclosed on Friday while addressing the virtual inaugural SDGs Moment, convened by United Nations’ Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The event was part of programmes organised for the high-level week of the 75th UN General Assembly.
Buhari briefed the audience on Nigeria’s plans for the next 10 years, particularly how to tackle poverty, illicit financial flows and keeping the economy afloat amid the hash impact of the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
He gave details, ”Our National Assembly has established Committees on Sustainable Development Goals.
”The National Youth Service Corps 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 Goal achievement process at the grassroots by engaging the services of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals Ambassadors we appointed to support our efforts at the national level.
”We will also encourage more sub-national authorities to appoint and train SDGs Champions.”
Buhari added that part of the measures were the strengthening of the fight against corruption and introducing policies to bring the country up to date with global best practices in the SDGs’ projects.
However, he admitted that the impact of COVID -19 had reduced the government’s pace of implementation, especially that funding would be a huge challenge due to the crash in the prices of crude oil, the mainstay of Nigeria’s monolithic economy.
But, Buhari noted that the government had also opted to diversify the economy by investing in agriculture and the mining sector to mitigate the losses caused by the pandemic.
He explained further, ”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 policy making can better address the indivisible nature of the Sustainable Development Goals.
”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”.
Nigeria had in July, submitted its second Voluntary National Review on SDGs to the UN High-Level Political Forum, a point Buhari reminded the audience at Friday’s session.
He stated, “The second Voluntary National Review highlighted our 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 of peace and security; and partnerships.”
Buhari explained further that the priorities were already embedded in the administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020) and the Medium Term National Development Plan (2020-2025).
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said Buahri also seized the opportunity to “pledge Nigeria’s commitment to mainstreaming the SDGs into subsequent development plans.”
The President added, ”The Nigeria Integrated SDG simulation Model to support the domestication of the Planning Model across the 36 states; the Integrated National Financing Frameworks for SDGs; the scaled-up National Social Investment Programme to reach more poor and vulnerable Nigerians in line with our commitment to lift 100million people out of Poverty within a 10-year period; and the engaging of all segments of the society for the achievement of the SDGs.”