By Prudence Arobani
Nigeria has presented its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2017 National Voluntary Reviews to the UN High-level Political Forum.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire while presenting the reviews, said the report provided information on progress and status of implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria.
“It highlights key policy, institutional and regulatory measures put in place to create necessary enabling environment for mainstreaming of SDGs in national policies, plans and programmes, and its coherent coordination.”
She said the report was the outcome of wide consultations with stakeholders drawn from line ministries, civil society organisations, organised private sector, academia, development partners, youth groups, women organisations, persons with disability and media organisations.
Orelope-Adefulire, who is a former Deputy-Governor of Lagos State, said Nigeria had key success to celebrate on SDGs.
She cited the establishment of multi-layer and multi-cluster institutional frameworks for enhanced coordination and SDGs mainstreaming process as a key success.
“The President has appointed a Senior Special Assistant on SDGs, whose office is responsible for ensuring horizontal and vertical coherence between development policies, plans and strategies.
“Similarly, an Inter-Ministerial Committee on the SDGs has been established and operational guidelines for the same developed to guide the coordinated engagement with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
“Structures are being established at the sub-national (State) level,” she said.
According to her, to fully harness the resources and ideas of, and effectively engage other stakeholders, a Private Sector Advisory Group and a Donors’ Forum on the SDGs have been inaugurated.
“The CSOs group on SDGs is already working towards some SDGs targets, with giant stride on inclusive education in collaboration with the Joint Association of Persons with Disability and Women 2030 in Nigeria.”
To enhance the legislative and oversight roles of Parliamentarians on SDGs implementation process, she said two select committees on SDGs have been established in the Senate and House of Representatives.
The presidential aide assured the international community that good policy and planning framework presently existed in Nigeria.
“The recently-launched Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, on which the current medium and short terms budgeting frameworks are based is aligned to the SDGs.
“Similarly, many of the current State Development Plans, including the Benue, Taraba, Yobe, Kaduna, Ebonyi, Kano, Jigawa, Anambra sand Delta among others, are aligned to the SDGs.
“The alignment aid planning, monitoring and evaluation of SDG implementation while SDGs data mapping exercise has been concluded and a data supply responsibility framework agreed upon.”
The presidential aide said the SDGs had identified and targeted the poor and vulnerable people in Nigeria.
“This has been achieved through the establishment of a ‘National Social Register’ for poor and vulnerable households.
“There is a monthly conditional cash transfer of N5,000 to such households as part of a national social safety net programme,” she said.
Orelope-Adefulire, however, pointed out that Nigeria had some challenges in the implementation of the SDGs.
“Reliance on oil and gas sector, dwindling agricultural production and productivity and limited value addition in the agricultural sector to grow the economy, jobs creation, addressing poverty and ensuring food security remain critical challenges.”
According to her, the economic recession in the country, due to fluctuating oil price in the international market and the humanitarian crisis in the North East of the country, present unique challenges to achieving the SDGs.
She called on the international community, donor agencies and partners to support the country in mobilising adequate financial and other resources.
“However, the country has advanced on curbing illicit financial flow and asset recovery, which will enhance effort on resource mobilisation for implementation of the SDGs.
“Technology transfer and capacity building on inter alia, data, information and performance management will be needed to support SDGs implementation,” she said.