Lagos unveils N255m grants for NGOs to drive SDGs

Lagos, Nigeria’s biggest economy state, on Tuesday, unveiled its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Impact Grant Challenge, which offers opportunity to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and related bodies driving the attainment of each of the 17 SDGs to win N5 million.

The state is offering a total of N255 million in the challenge which is being driven by the Lagos State Office of SDGs and Investments.

The grant challenge specifically targets projects that make faster progress on the 17 goals of the SDG programme in the state.

The challenge will award N5 million each to three winning ideas that target each of the SDGs. In total, the grant seeks to fund 51 projects addressing SDG targets (3 projects per SDG) across Lagos.

Solape Hammond, the special adviser to the state governor on SDGs and Investments, at the launch of the challenge in Ikeja, said the competition will enable the government to create a broader-based collaboration with the NGOs, civil society groups, and social entrepreneurs driving the attainment of the SDGs.

According to Hammond, applicants who must have successfully passed eligibility screenings would be required to submit one project idea that focuses on one of the 17 SDGs. The project must reflect a specific key performance indicator and an estimate of total people that will be impacted by the project.

“What we are trying to do with this project, the SDGs Impact Challenge, is to take that further, to bring together all the Impact Makers whether they are CSOs, NGOs, social impact ventures, all those who are working and creating change around Lagos, to mainstream the SDGs.

“We are going to pick three projects across each of the 17 SDGs and work with them to implement these projects over a period of three months, bringing volunteers together to deliver on these projects,” she said.

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She mentioned that the challenges gathered from stakeholders informed the launching of the Lagos NGO Directory as a database platform for NGOs to connect with the government on its programmes and activities as well as “understand what the opportunities were in the government.”

“Really, all we are saying is this government cares for Impacts Makers and we know that we need that partnership to be able to deliver on THEMES Agenda and on the SDGs,” she said.

Also speaking, Abosede George, the permanent secretary, Office of SDGs and Investments, said it would be difficult for the office alone to achieve the mandate of the SDGs to meet the 2030 agenda, hence the need to partner with NGOs and private organisations.

On the credibility and fairness of the applicants’ selection process, she said “the process is going to be very objective and transparent. We are going to do it the way it should be done. If we say criteria, then we have to go that route. We would encourage people to participate, and once you meet the criteria, you would be given, you don’t need to know anyone.”