From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, New York
President Muhammadu Buhari said Friday in New York at the strategic High Level Event to mark the Official Launch of the Nigeria Integrated National Financing Framework Report on Sustainable Development (NIFF) that achieving the SDGs will end poverty and hunger, protect the ecosystem and the planet, and ensure people live in peace and prosperity by 2030.
“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.”
According to a statement Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari at the event which took place on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly, Buhari stressed the importance placed by the present administration towards achieving the goals.
President Buhari said, “It is pertinent to state that achieving inclusive, broad-based and sustainable development is a cardinal objective of our Administration.
“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 explained that the various developmental plans and programmes for the country have all been aligned with the SDG and are poised to move the economy to greater heights despite the challenges that have confronted the country.
“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.
Rallying Nigerians, International Community and Development Partners behind this new development, the President assured stakeholders of its immediate implementation.
In her remarks, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire said the United Nations had particularly praised the Nigerian government for the implementation of the action plans of Nigeria, putting Nigeria ahead of many countries.
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.’”
She said her office 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.