The Financial Centre for Sustainability, Lagos (“FC4SL”), in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”) Nigeria, executed a webinar session as part of the Market Education and Sensitisation Campaign Initiative of the Research, Education and Engagements Thematic Area of FC4SL. The session, through expert discussions and deliberations, sought to promote the consideration, adoption and integration of the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the formulation of developmental policies and strategies to ensure a more sustainable, safer and increasingly prosperous economy for all Nigerians.
While delivering her opening remarks, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to the President on SDGs, represented by the Senior Technical Advisor, Bala Yusuf Yunusa, stated that “the Federal Government of Nigeria has since established institutional mechanisms to support effective implementation of the SDGs. The Office of the SSA to the President on SDGs (“the Office’) was established in January 2016 with the mandate of strategic planning, co-ordination, and guidance; advocacy, representation, and partnership building; monitoring, evaluation, and reporting; as well as resource work implementation. Several strategic initiatives have since been implemented; including a database mapping that enables a complete realignment of the national statistical system for the requirement and indicators of the SDGs. It has also attempted to integrate the three (3) dimensions of the SDGs – economic, social and environmental – to Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan from 2017 to 2020, and presently, the Office is working closely with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to integrate the SDGs into the new National Development Plan (2021 to 2025), as well as Nigeria’s 2050 Agenda. In addition to these, the process for integration of the national financing framework to support the implementation of the SDGs actualisation in Nigeria has commenced in earnest”.
Solape Hammond, Senior Special Adviser to the Executive Governor of Lagos State on SDGs & Investments, delivered her take on the SDG initiatives for Lagos State, stating that “Government cannot afford to rely on themselves and their budget to get what needs to be done, it must be the job of everyone. Businesses have to be aligned and not just in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) but a complete realignment of our mindset and our approach to business and leveraging innovation, which is part of SDG-9, to deliver solutions that will address the developmental challenges that the country is facing”. She also stated that “the SDG framework provides a role for everyone starting from the national level to the municipalities, businesses, non-governmental organisations and individuals. There has been a lot of collaborations on the national level and Lagos State has been working closely with the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs and the United Nations Development Programme to develop a common viewpoint; working on the national voluntary review and the framework for Sustainable Finance. But there needs to be increased collaboration at the state level and Lagos State has established the Lagos State Volunteer Corp as a platform to encourage Lagosians to participate and be involved in the development agenda of Lagos State and put her in the fore of achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals over the next decade”.
Andrew Nevin, Partner & Chief Economist, PwC West Africa/Thematic Lead, Research, Education and Engagements, FC4SL, added that “It is time we move from a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Lens to an SDG Lens to know if we are making progress in Nigeria”. Also, the Executive Secretary, FC4SL, Emmanuel Etaderhi, stated that “the SDGs are not just about philanthropy or doing good. They represent a $12.00 trillion market opportunity available for the public and private sector organisations to exploit”.
The SDGs cover broad challenges such as economic inclusion, diminishing natural resources, geopolitical instability, environmental degradation, and the multifaceted impacts of climate change. They define the agenda for an inclusive economic growth through to 2030. The impact of these goals on global sustainable development will largely depend on the world’s ability to transition to new governance for sustainability that recognises the roles and responsibilities of local and subnational governments as well as corporates. Therefore, the onus lies on both the private and public sector organisations to collaborate in addressing these environmental, social and economic issues.