The United Nations Summit for the adoption of the post 2015 development agenda was held 25 – 27 September 2015 in New York and convened a high level plenary meeting of the General Assembly. All countries and stakeholders, acting in a collaborative partnership declared to implement the sustainable development goals including Nigeria.
At the exit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in September 2015, the world leaders came together at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGAS) in New York to sign a new global partnership for development tagged – SDGs. It consists of 17 goals and 169 targets to build on MDGs and complete what MDGs did not achieve.
The Nigerian President, Muhammad Buhari was part of the Team of Leaders that endorsed the take off of the new plans; he affirmed support for SDGs to succeed especially in Nigeria, which is in tandem to the positive change mantra of his administration.
It is in the bid to succeed in this global assignment that, President Buhari appointed Mrs. Orelope-Adefulire as his Senior Special Assistant on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She’s a seasoned administrator, dogged politician, a woman with record of successes and the capability to drive the team to success. Mrs. Orelope-Adefulire is regarded as an accomplished politician with many years of experience in public service and brings to this position more than over two decades of experience as a development practitioner.
She served as Deputy Governor of Lagos State in the Administration of Babatunde Fashola, also served as Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation in Lagos State in 2000, aimed at an array of issues that included slashing poverty, hunger, diseases, gender inequality, and access to water and sanitation, the UNDP said on its website. “Enormous progress has been made on the MDGs, showing the value of a unified agenda underpinned by goals and targets. Despite this success, the indignity of poverty has not been ended for all”
The Sustainable Development Goals, and the broader sustainability agenda, go much further than the MDGs, addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people.
It is in no doubt as a seasoned development practitioners in the Public Service, two weeks into her appointment as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, OSSAP-SDGs in collaboration with Department for International Development (DFID) organized a retreat in Abuja, which was intended at planning and strategizing what made MDGs to succeed and the challenges in incurred with a view to having a successful implementation of SDGs. She mentioned that her appointment is a clarion call to serve humanity.
The implementation of MDGs in Africa and Nigeria remains an unfinished business which needs to be taken forward with the implementation of SDGs. 2015 is considered a pivotal year for the development sector with the agreement and introduction of a new international framework for development, that will supersede the MDGs. This piece suggests that one of the reasons that new goals are necessary and the MDGs failed to meet all their targets, was the absence of critical consciousness that considered the structural causes of poverty. The development sector’s preoccupation with Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) has diverted our efforts away from larger, arguable more significant issues for the global south, such as illicit financial flows, debt and unfair trade rules. Above all, we have failed to relate the dominants neo-Libra economic model to persistent levels of poverty and climate change. Unless, the SDGs come to terms with this larger obstacle to developments, they will fail to meet their target. The Office of the Special Assistant to the President on SDGs stated that, development education ideally placed to provide the kind of critical awakening necessary to support the delivery of the SDGs.
In its scope, however, the framework that was designed goes far beyond the MDGs, alongside continuing development priorities, zero hunger, good health and well being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work, economic growth, industry innovation and infrastructure, reduction of inequalities, urgent action to combat climate change and its impact, promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development amongst others, it set out a wide range of economic, social and environmental objective. It also promises more peaceful and inclusive societies. It also, crucially defines means of implementation. Reflecting the integrated approach that has been decided on, there are deep inter connections and many cross cutting elements across the new goals and targets. These goals capture the essence of development in any nation and have a slogan “leave no one behind”
The global vision is to improve livelihood and protect the planet for future generations and to realize the future we want, while in Nigeria, the SDGs will be pursued in an inclusive and people centered manner, it will also focus on institutional and policy strengthening. The Nigerian road map to the SDGs is designed to focus on six thematic areas namely: policies, data management, institutions, partnership, communication and finance.
The implementation is designed to be carried out in three phases and according to specific needs of each zone of the country.
Phase 1: 2016 – 2020
Phase 2: 2020 – 2026
Phase 3: 2026 – 2030
In the hope to succeed in this task, the need for all hands to be on deck cannot be over emphasized. The Federal, States, Local Governments, Civil Societies, Academia, Religious and Political leaders, media and all relevant stakeholders must work hard to bring about the sustainable development that we need.
The OSSAP-SDGs headed by Princess Adefulire, the management and the entire staff have hit the ground running, working assiduously to see to the implementation and success of the 17 SDGs for the benefit of Nigerians. All necessary cooperation should be given to sustain and increase the development activities in all its ramifications where peace, justice and strong institution are built at all levels and revitalize global partnership to have a world of our dreams.
Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.