Nigeria’s SDGs Office leading by example – UN Chief

(L-R) Engr. Ahmad Kawu, Secretary of Programme, OSSAP-SDGs, Celine Lafoucriere, Chief of Field Office, Lagos and Akure, UNICEF, Matthias Schmale, UN Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator a.i., Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Bolaji Balogun, Co-Chair, Private Sector Advisory Group on SDGs, Morris Atoki, PSAG at the 2022 Management Retreat by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals

United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mattias Schmale has lauded the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs) over strategies already put in place for the
the implementation of the 2023 agenda in Nigeria.

The UN chief gave the accolades during the opening of three-day OSSAP-SDGs 2022 Management Retreat which took place in Lagos.

The UN Resident Coordinator particularly praised OSSAP-SDGs for the clear pathways charted for the effective implementation of the SDGs and excellent achievement in galvanising local and international partners and stakeholders across the country to continuously contribute their quota in the quest to attain the SDGs.

Mattias Schmale also lauded Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and her team for organising the retreat, which he noted will further strengthen the general efforts towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

He, however, noted that there is need to continue to intensify efforts and sustain progress in a bid to stay on track with the implementation in this decade of action as the failure of Nigeria to attain the SDGs will negatively impact the overall effort of Africa.

Also speaking, the Co-Chair of the Private Sector Advisory Group on SDGs (PSAG) Bolaji Balogun emphasized the need to continue to mobilise the Private Sector, which he described as key partners to ensure sustainable results.

He advised the government to increase investments in infrastructure in line with Goal 9 as this remains the bedrock for sustainable development in any society.

In her keynote address, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire affirmed that her Office has made significant achievements in certain aspects of the 2030 Agenda, while a lot still needs to be done in other aspects.

She noted that through the institutional frameworks of the office, OSSAP-SDGs has been actively involved in key policy decisions at the global and national levels on the SDGs in the last six years.

She noted that together with other stakeholders, OSSAP-SDGs has made significant progress and achievements in the coordination and implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria and has also successfully implemented other flagship programmes and initiatives across the country.

The Presidential Adviser noted that going forward in this ‘Decade of Action’ for the SDGs, greater coordination and cooperation is required among all stakeholders.

She therefore said the retreat provides an opportunity to collectively review the past, examine the present and project the immediate future across the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the work of her Office as well as answer some of the questions raised, with a view to build a solid foundation for the Nigeria desired by all.

“As we recommit ourselves, I would like to reaffirm my personal commitment to the transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. As I will Chair all the sessions in this Retreat, I look forward to hearing more from you on how best to effectively organized ourselves for efficient service delivery. I wish you fruitful deliberations over the next three days”. Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire stated.

With the theme “Reflecting and Strategizing for Effective Coordination of the SDGs Implementation in Nigeria” the retreat is part of the strategies of the Office aimed at strengthening the capacity of the relevant unit heads and staff of OSSAP-SDGs towards the attainment of SDGs by the year 2030.

The brainstorming sessions also intend to: strengthen the capacity of the MDAs to articulate programs and activities that can lead to achieving the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs into their sectoral plans and sustainable development strategies as well as promote multi-stakeholder and participatory approaches through the sharing of knowledge and best practices as well as support the MDAs and the relevant Units of the OSSAP-SDGs to monitor SDGs activities, programmes and projects.

The retreat is also expected to draw strategies that can accelerate actions on SDGs implementation across the various sectors as well as outline initiatives that adds value to SDGs implementation across the OSSAP-SDGs Units and Line MDAs.