“For Nigeria and indeed Africa as a whole, achieving the SDGs will mean ending poverty and hunger, safeguarding our ecosystem and the planet and ensuring our people live in peace and prosperity by the year 2030.”
This was said in President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech at the strategic High Level Event marking the Official Launch of the Nigeria Integrated National Financing Framework Report on Sustainable Development (NIFF) on the fringes of the 77th United Nations General Assembly on Friday in New York.
President Buhari said that fostering inclusive, broad-based, and sustainable development is a fundamental goal of the current government.
“It is for this purpose that the Federal Government of Nigeria established a number of ambitious programmes in an attempt to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs in Nigeria.
“The Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs has continued to provide technical leadership in the operations of the SDGs at all levels of governance in Nigeria.”
He expressed delight that the process leading to the NIFF which started in 2020 finally crystalized into Friday’s memorable activity.
“Today’s event marks the end of a long process which began in 2020, when the Steering Committee and the Core Working Group on Nigeria’s Integrated National Financing Framework were inaugurated. The Integrated National Financing Framework has been developed to map out a much-needed sustainable financing plan for Nigeria to deliver on our commitment to the SDGs and our National Development aspirations,” he said.
President Buhari noted that all of the nation’s developmental plans and programmes have been linked with the SDG and are ready to propel the economy to higher heights despite the problems the country has faced.
“Despite the challenges caused by the sharp drop in the prices of crude oil and the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria has remained resolute in our genuine desire to maintain and grow our economy.
“The 2017-2020 Economic Recovery and Growth Plan; the 2020 Economic Sustainability Plan; the 2021 National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy; and the 2021-2025 National Development Plan are all aligned with the SDGs.
“It is in line with this commitment and with a focus on the National Development Plan (2021-2025) that, the Federal Government of Nigeria, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme, has adopted the INFF as a tool to improve SDGs financing without increasing public debt and contingent liabilities to levels that will be detrimental to economic sustainability.”
The President guaranteed stakeholders of its prompt implementation after rallying Nigerians, the international community, and development partners to support the new initiative.
In her comments, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, said that the United Nations has lauded the Nigerian government for implementing its action plans, placing Nigeria ahead of many other nations.
She added that in August, Nigeria became the “first country in the Global South to have successfully completed a Country-led Independent Evaluation of SDG-3 on ‘quality health and well-being for all’ and SDG-4 on ‘qualitative and inclusive education and lifelong learning for all.’”
Mrs Orelope-Adefulire said the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on SDGs also collaborated with the National Bureau of Statistics to track progress on the 230 Key Performance Indicators on annual basis, ascribing the successes to the unflinching support of President Buhari.
The Presidential aide explained that she was also working with some state governors to “integrate Sustainable Development Goals into their policies, programmes and budgets,’’ hoping that before the end of the current administration all the states would be covered.
Goodwill messages were delivered by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Amina J. Mohammed, the European Union and Development Partners.