FG to mobilise NYSC members, 17 iconic leaders to champion SDGs implementation at grassroots

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Story from Kenneth AFOR, Lagos

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday disclosed that the country will mobilise National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) and 17 iconic leaders to champion the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 at grassroots.

He disclosed in his speech during the virtual high-level week of the 75th UN General Assembly on the inauguration of SDGs Moment, convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

President Buhari briefed the Assembly on the country’s progress of the SDGs and setting the vision for the next decade in fighting poverty, combating illicit financial flows and ensuring economic recovery amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

”Our National Assembly has established Committees on Sustainable Development Goals. The National Youth Service Corps Scheme is also ensuring that Nigerian graduates actively participate in SDGs implementation processes by serving as SDGs champions at the grassroots.

”Going forward, we will invigorate the Goal achievement process at the grassroots by engaging the services of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals Ambassadors we appointed to support our efforts at the national level.

”We will also encourage more sub-national authorities to appoint and train SDGs Champions,” he said.

The president also reaffirmed the nation’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other Internationally Agreed Development Goals as well as informing members that anti-corruption institutions have been strengthened to enable the administration effectively combat illicit financial flows and recover proceeds.

While the COVID-19 pandemic might have to some extent derail the country in making progress on the SDGs, the president reiterated that efforts have been put in place to diversify the nation’s economy is focusing on agriculture and the mining sectors.

”Nigeria has made good strides in SDGs domestication processes, as we have commenced the re-alignment of the National Statistical System with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs.

”We have developed a novel home-grown ‘Integrated Sustainable Development Goals Model, as an analytical framework for assessing how policy-making can better address the indivisible nature of the Sustainable Development Goals.

”Nigeria has also set up a Model Private Sector Advisory Group and an SDGs Donors’ Forum with a view to engaging critical stakeholders towards the attainment of the SDGs’,” the president asserts.

Buhari further disclosed the country’s scorecard on the progress of the SDGs when it presented the second Voluntary National Review on SDGs to the UN High-Level Political Forum in July 2020.

“The second Voluntary National Review highlighted our efforts to meet SDGs targets on the critical issues of poverty and an inclusive economy; health and well-being; education and gender equality; enabling environment of peace and security; and partnerships.”

According to him, the targets were based on current development priorities, as captured in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020), as well as the Medium Term National Development Plan (2020-2025).

In his closing remarks, he pledged that the country is committed to mainstreaming the SDGs into subsequent development plans coupled with the implementation of the next decade agenda of the SDGs through initiatives such as the re-aligned National Statistical System to effectively track and monitor the implementation of the SDGs on annual basis.

”The Nigeria Integrated SDG Simulation Model to support the domestication of the Planning Model across the 36 states; the Integrated National Financing Frameworks for SDGs; the scaled-up National Social Investment Programme to reach more poor and vulnerable Nigerians in line with our commitment to lifting 100 million people out of Poverty within a 10-year period; and the engaging of all segments of the society for the achievement of the SDGs,” said the president.

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