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Lagos to finance 51 projects on SDGs

Gender equality as a catalyst for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

In line with its commitment to shared prosperity, the Lagos State Office of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Investment has launched the Lagos SDGs Grant Competition to fund 51 projects across the 167 targets of SDGs in the state.

Solape Hammond, the special adviser to the state governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, at a news conference in Lagos on Wednesday, described the initiative as a strategy of crowdsourcing innovative ideas that can lead to measurable impact on SDGs and offer smarter, faster ways to make real progress on the goals and transform the society to a more resilient and purposeful city.

According to Hammond, the state government is furthering development commitments by ensuring that necessary systems are put in place to stimulate action and participation from all stakeholders – from people at the grassroots up to the highest levels of government

The Grant Competition, she said, had been conceived as part of the strategy to mobilise collective action to advance progress on the SDGs through social, economic, and environmental initiatives that are positive, transformative, collaborative and scalable.

This initiative is open to civil society organisations, social impact ventures, non-governmental organisations and social entrepreneurs within Lagos State as it will create a broader-based collaboration and amplify the impact of key actors in the SDGs space.

On the process of application, Hammond said that applicants who must have successfully passed eligibility screenings will be required to submit one project idea that addresses one of the 17 Global SDGs with a specific KPI and an estimated number of persons that the project will impact.

“Submitted projects will be reviewed by a project selection committee who will grant interviews to the most promising applicants after which N5 million each will be awarded to 3 winning ideas that target each of the SDGs, making a total of 51 projects’’, she said.

Hammond noted that the process was automated to ensure transparency and increase the chances of selecting winning ideas, affirming that the proposed duration of the competition of the selected projects is three months.

She explained that applicants were expected to apply on the Lagos State Volunteer Corp website (www.lsvc.ng) to enter the competition. She added that the programme would help to mainstream the SDGs and encourage civic participation of a diverse class of constituents.

In scaling up the state government’s effort towards creating wealth and employment opportunities, Hammond stated that the SDGs office would be facilitating a franchise system for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operating within the state which will have access to affordable financial and institutional support.

She maintained that the scheme which is in partnership with Franchiser and Distributor Forum targets 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 300 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.

Read also: FEC approves N14.8bn to complete Lagos FIRS building

Stating that the process of application would be made available through all the state government’s official channels of communication, Hammond acknowledged that the office has also initiated some impactful programmes that are targeted towards leaving no one behind in this journey.

She said as part of the process of institutionalising SDGs in public secondary schools, the SDGs office was facilitating activities that will strengthen students’ capabilities towards becoming core participants in the delivery of the global ambition.

She added that besides the setting up of SDGs Club in public secondary schools, a manual book on SDGs for the secondary book would be launched to enhance teaching and encourage students to play their roles in building a safe, secure, and prosperous future.

Speaking on the ongoing SDGs Surprise Mentorship Rounds anchored by the SDGs office, Hammond said the initiative was critical to the state government’s push to unlock value-based thinking and connect the youth to critical assets of leadership in entrepreneurship, public speaking, entertainment, media, politics, agriculture, photography, ICT, education and other disciplines of human endeavours.

Also at the briefing was Lekan Fatodu, the senior special assistant to the governor on SDGs and other development partners.