• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Experts call for effective collaboration in achieving SDGs by 2030

Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire

To accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, development experts have called for an effective collaboration between the private and public sectors in Nigeria.

The call was made on Wednesday at Lafarge Africa’s Sustainability Part One Series themed ‘Environmental and Social Governance: A transformative approach to accelerating the SDGs’.

The webinar is a series designed to assemble both national and international stakeholders to discuss and create a national blueprint towards accelerating the achievement of SDGs in Nigeria.

Giving the keynote address, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on SDGs, said the time was perfect to come together to find creative and innovative ways to build a more inclusive society.

“We must urgently build back and one of the most effective ways to do so is strengthen partnership between the public and private sector and other critical sectors,” Orelope- Adefulire

She noted that government has made considerable amount of progress in achieving the SDGs, such as the domestication and customisation of the Nigerian integrated sustainability development growth formulation model and the design and implementation of the integrated financing framework for SDGs in Nigeria.

The SDGs is a 15-year development strategy designed by the United Nations (UN) as an improvement on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for member nations to affect development in all areas, particularly at the grassroots.

SDGs target development and growth in fighting poverty through empowerment, job creation, provision of clean and safe water, roads, power, as well as provision of social amenities for meaningful development and growth.

But Nigeria seems to be far behind as experts have lamented the country’s poor performance on SDGs, warning that the country might not meet the 2030 target. According to a 2019 Sustainable Development Report, Nigeria ranked 159 out of the 162 countries on the SDG index.

“The United Nations estimates that emerging markets alone require $3.9 trillion dollars per year to meet the goals by 2030. And as it is now, the current investment is around $2.5 trillion gab in achieving that. So, the challenges are there,” said Bola Adesola, UNGC Vice Chairman/Board Member.

“But I believe the barriers are coming down and there is a new thinking to how the private sector can sustain companies that are productive and are run responsible. The government cannot do this alone and indeed the private sector will play a significant role here,” Adesola said.

According to an article by the World Economic Forum, the Covid-19 pandemic hit at a time when the SDGs were gaining traction and a significant number of countries were making good progress.

Andrew Venter, director, Institute for Sustainability, University of Cambridge, said the impact of the global crisis has been compounded by the global recession.

Speaking on the strategies that companies can adopt to further integrate SDGs at the heart of organisations’ objectives and how it can be extended to the public sectors, Marco Van DeeRee, Chief Development Officer, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), said it is important that the person that sits on the board should integrate and leverage professionals and have a sustainability committee.

“Integration is important and that is all that we need to accelerate the SDGs collectively together,” DeeRee said.

The sustainability series is posed to help Lafarge Africa Plc as board members of the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) and United Nations Global Compact, Nigeria Network (GCNN), to steer discussions that will create a plan for a strengthened private public participation for the SDGs in Nigeria towards Agenda 2030.

The next series which is themed ‘Co-creating value through best practices in Private Public Partnership and impact assessment for the SDGs’ is expected to hold on August 26, 2020.