Lagos launches N255m SDGs grant competition

The Lagos State Government yesterday launched the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Grant Competition that will see successful 51 winning projects addressing SDG targets to be awarded N5 million each.

Special Adviser to the Governor on SDGs and Investment, Mrs. Solape Hammond, at a news conference in Alausa, said: “the Lagos SDGs Grant Competition was conceived as part of the strategies to mobilize collective action to advance progress on the SDGs through social, economic, and environmental initiatives that are positive, transformative, collaborative, and scalable.

“The Challenge is seeking projects that offer smarter, faster ways to make real progress on the 17 Goals and transform the society to becoming more resilient.

“This grant competition is open to Civil Society Organizations, Social Impact Ventures and Non-Governmental Organizations within Lagos state. It will award the sum of N5 million each to 3 winning ideas that targets each of the SDGs. In total, the grant seeks to fund 51 projects addressing SDG targets (3 projects per SDG) across Lagos State.

“This competition will enable the State Government to create a broader-based collaboration with the CSOs, NGOs and social entrepreneurs who are already implementing solutions to achieve the SDGs.

“Applicants who must have successfully passed eligibility screenings will be required to submit one project idea that addresses one of the 17 Global SDGs. The project must reflect a specific Key Performance Indicator (KPI), and an estimate of the total number of people that will be impacted by the project,” she said.

Hammond continued: “Submitted projects would be reviewed by a project selection committee who would grant interviews to the most promising applicants.

“The project selection committee would choose 51 winning projects that would be eligible for grant prizes of ₦5 million per project, and the proposed duration of the competition is three months. The process is automated to ensure transparency and increase the chances of selecting winning ideas.”

She explained that there are two categories of stakeholders responsible for supervising the competition – the Technical Committee for general supervision and the Project Selection Committee which comprises at least a representative of the development partner, private sector, MDA and the Office of SDGs and Investment.

She listed key objectives of the programme to include: mainstreaming the SDGs, amplifying the impact of key actors in the space, and crowdsourcing innovative ideas that can lead to measurable impact on SDGs.

Others are encouraging civic participation of a diverse class of constituents, increasing the number of active volunteers in Lagos State, and enabling greater visibility of the activities of CSOs and NGOs in Lagos State

“Applicants are expected to apply on the Lagos State Volunteer Corp website (www.lsvc.ng) to enter the competition,” she said.

Competition was conceived as part of the strategies to mobilize collective action to advance progress on the SDGs through social, economic, and environmental initiatives that are positive, transformative, collaborative, and scalable.

MSMEs support

Hammond also disclosed that to enhance the administration’s desire in facilitating Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) access to affordable financial and institutional support needed to create wealth and employment opportunities, the Office is making necessary plans to partner with Franchiser and Distributor Forum for the launch a franchise system for MSMEs operating within the state.

She said: “The programme will be targeting MSMEs in products manufacturing, services, food and drinks, health and wellness and other personal care services, investors/commercial banks, cooperative societies, media as well as other MSMEs and individuals within the value chains.

“This pilot scheme is designed to offer 200 MSMEs to the franchise business system by providing digital infrastructure for all Lagos based franchises available for investment including periodic financing forum for both franchisors and franchisees.

“As it is sometimes referred to as the best ambassador of free enterprise in the world, the scheme will provide value to entrepreneurship in the State by attracting the informal sector businesses into the formal sector.

“The process of application will be made available soon through all the state government’s official channels of communication,” she explained.

Hammond also informed of plans to institutionalise SDGs in schools, and in partnership with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), will launch SDGs Club in Public Secondary Schools to mobilise, motivate and inspire the youth to explore ways of contributing to a sustainable community.

Describing it as “the first of its kind in Nigeria,” she added that this will “enhance the teaching of SDGs in schools and encourage students to play their roles in building a safe, secure, and prosperous future.”

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