By Donald Ugwu
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday inaugurated the Presidential Advisory Council on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) chaired by him to boost the fight against poverty and climate change.
Buhari, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, reaffirmed the administration’s belief that SDGs implementation would have decisive implications for Nigeria’s development.
According to him, the SDGs occupy a prominent place in the economic recovery and growth plan launched in April to guide Nigeria along the path of inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
“Progress on the goals will have a positive effect on our poverty and unemployment numbers.
“It will reduce the number of mothers who die during child birth and our children who are unable to mark their fifth birthdays and also the figures on out-of-school children.
“It will empower our girls and women and bridge the gender inequality gap.
“Success in the implementation of the SDGs will have an impact in our cities and on the quality of the lives of those who live within them.
“It is therefore clear that the achievement of the goals equals a quantum socio-economic leap for Nigeria.
“Failure to achieve the SDGs will have existential implications for our generation and for those yet unborn.’’
Buhari stated that the Council would provide policy direction for the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria and ensure that there was coherence at the national and sub-national levels.
He noted that the Council’s work would be crucial for resource mobilization, prioritisation of interventions, periodic assessment as well as the overall oversight of SDGs implementation.
The President observed that as ambitious as the goals might appear, they captured the urgency of the major challenges that confront humanity especially developing nations.
“They underscore the reality that only a global partnership supporting home-grown and inclusive solutions stands the chance of achieving the goals.
“Building on the MDGs, the SDGs open up new priorities such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice.
“The goals are inter-connected; succeeding in one will involve dealing with issues fundamentally associated with another.
“With a number of time-bound targets and indicators against which national progress will be measured to 2030s, the SDGs had begun to galvanise development planning and execution globally,’’ he added.
Buhari extended the country’s appreciation to its international development partners, members of the diplomatic corps, the private sector, civil society organisations and other stakeholders for their unwavering commitment to Nigeria’s development.
He gave the assurance that the country would continue to partner the stakeholders for the attainment of the SDGs
President Buhari had at the UN General Assembly in Sept. 2015, joined other Heads of State and Governments to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals being a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that representatives of the UN, Private sector, legislature and other stakeholders delivered messages pledging to ensure the success of the goals in Nigeria. (NAN)