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Osinbajo lists SDGs as crucial to global economic cooperation

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were important in the attainment of robust global economic cooperation.

Osinbajo said this in a keynote address at the African Union (AU) continental workshop on Africa’s Voluntary National Reviews for the 2022 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) and Domestication of the Agenda 2063, in Abuja.

He said: “It is obvious that Agenda 2063 is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future, as well as the continent’s strategic framework that aims to deliver on its goal for inclusive and sustainable development.”

Osinbajo, represented by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the strategic partnership embedded in the SDGs had availed Nigeria a huge implementation context.

He said Nigeria had established six SDGs innovation hubs, one in each geo-political zone to achieve the goals and their effective implementation.

Osinbajo said the idea was to provide an opportunity for states to leverage and dialogue with all relevant stakeholders to accelerate innovative solutions.

He said the idea was also aimed at prioritising social protection as a tool to overcome the bottlenecks and expanding financing options to accelerate the achievement of SDGs in Nigeria.

According to him, since the adoption of the AU Agenda 2063 and the UN Agenda 2030, Nigeria has embarked upon a process of domesticating the agendas at the national and sub-national levels.

He said the new National Development Plan (NDP) 2021-2025 had strategies aimed at achieving the targets set under each of the goals in both agendas.

He said the capacities of policymakers were being strengthened to ensure their implementation in an integrated and coherent manner to facilitate an inclusive implementation process across all relevant sectors.

Agenda 2063 is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future, as well as the continent’s strategic framework that aims to deliver on its goal for inclusive and sustainable development.

Effects of COVID-19

Osinbajo said Nigeria had been proactive in addressing the effects of COVID-19 Pandemic and had attained a landmark; even in the midst of the slowdown of economic activities arising from the pandemic.

“In addressing the gaps created by the pandemic, the National Economic Recovery and Sustainability Plan of Government was introduced to cushion some of the hard effects of the global meltdown.

“Other strides achieved in the country included the efforts at improving food security and nutrition through a Multi-Sectoral Plan for food and nutrition.

“The Medium-Term National Development Plan 2021-2025 has been launched and is in the public domain while the Long-Term National Development Plan, tagged ‘Nigeria Agenda 2050’, is in the process of completion,” he said.

He said the Federal Government had also developed national pathways for food system transformation, an outcome of an exploratory dialogue conducted in Nigeria.

Osinbajo said the dialogue was as recommended by the Secretary-General of the UN that countries should dialogue to identify the challenges facing food from the farm to the dining table.

He said the objective was to accelerate the achievements of the SDGs, since 2021-2030 was recognised as decade of action for accelerating the achievement of SDGs.

In July 2020, Nigeria presented its Second VNR with a specific focus on critical issues of poverty and inclusive economy, health and well-being, education, gender equality, an enabling environment of peace and security as well as partnership and means of implementation.

Review mechanisms

In her remark, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, said the HLPF was part of follow-up and review mechanisms for the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

She said the HLPF was to encourage member-states to conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels.

“It is gladdening to state that Nigeria presented its First Voluntary National Review (VNR) to the HLPF in July 2017.

“Nigeria’s first VNR outlined the institutional dimensions for creating an enabling policy environment for the implementation of the SDGs through the Economic and Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) (2017-2020).

“Similarly, in July 2020, Nigeria presented its Second VNR with a specific focus on critical issues of poverty and inclusive economy, health and well-being, education, gender equality, an enabling environment of peace and security as well as partnership and means of implementation.

“This focus was based on Nigeria’s current development priorities as well as the cardinal objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration,” she said.

The National Coordinator, African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD), Nigeria, Gloria Akobundu, said the workshop was to support the national capacities of African Union Member States.

She said the area of support was to generate outcomes on the implementation of SDGs and Agenda 2063 to be presented at the upcoming High-Level Political Forum.

Akobundu said the forum was scheduled to hold in July under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. (NAN)

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