…as multilateral agencies commit to seeing more SDGs activities in Nigeria
Federal Government has called on states and the FCT to provide the necessary leadership and resources for the implementation of social protection and activities of sustainable development goals (SDGs activities).
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mrs Olusola Idowu, made this call Wednesday in her remarks at the Joint Zonal Consultation on Review of the Social Protection Policy and institutionalizing Social Protection for Accelerated SDGs Implementation in Nigeria, holding in Enugu.
In a statement issued by Director Information, Victoria Agba-Attah, Idowu, who is also Chairperson, Technical Working Group (TWG) National Social Protection Policy, stated that the purpose of the Zonal consultative meeting was to harvest inputs from the zones for the finalization of the Policy.
She, therefore, implored the participants to brainstorm and identify challenges peculiar to the region and make practical recommendations for the attainment of the overall objective of the Policy.
And in an effort to achieve the success of the Agenda 2030, Idewu disclosed that office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SSAP-SDGs) and United Nation Development Programme in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning was using the meeting to sensitize the sub- nationals on the importance of funding for planned SDGs activities by the State governments.
Accordingly, to her, the inputs from all the various consultations and engagements would be incorporated into the draft Policy before being presented to the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly for approval.
She recalled that the world commenced the ” Decade of Action ” in January 2020 for accelerated smart Sustainable solution to secure greater leadership and more resources for the achievement of the SDGs but was affected by the outbreak of COVID- 19 Pandemic which hampered the prospects of achieving the SDGs in many countries, including Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Director of Social Development, Budget and National Planning, Mr A.B. Sa’adu, reaffirmed the extensive process of reviewing the elapsed social protection policy. He assured stakeholders that “the review process has gone far with the production of a draft diagnostic report that has been validated by a multi-sectorial Technical Working Group inaugurated in August 2020 under the leadership of the Permanent Secretary.”
Sa’adu also acknowledged the unflinching support of several UN agencies: – UNDP, UNICEF, ILO, WFP, World Bank and Save the Children towards implementing the Joint Fund Programme to support social protection and aimed at accelerating Social Development Goals (SDGs).
Earlier, the World Food Programme, UN- WFP Country Director, La Paul Howe, represented by Mr Akeem Ajibola, in his Goodwill message, pledged WFP’s support for Nigeria, towards the achievement of SDGs by 2030.
He said that aside the support the WFP was providing in conflict-affected populations like North-East Nigeria, it was also working with the Federal and State governments to achieve SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) which interlinks with other 16 SDG goals. Howe also maintained that WFP looked forward to a robust outcome from the Workshop through the articulation of shocks in SE and SS zones into the NSSP of Nigeria.
The UNDP representative, the Economic Research Associate, Grace Arinze Ononwu, expressed her delight at the Stakeholders shared “common goal” that would accelerate the implementation of Social Protection in order to leave no one behind on the SDGs by 2030.
She added that the UNDP cherished the commitment of TWG in facilitating the review of the NSSP putting vulnerable Nigerians at the forefront which underscored the vision of Mr President in taking 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.