Ahead of the projected 2030 date for the attainment of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Lagos State Government has re-affirmed its commitment to leave no one behind in achieving a substantial part of the goals in the next decade.
To explore some of the issues around the cross-sectorial workings conditions of the global goals across MDAs, the Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment has organised a sensitisation workshop for SDGs Sector Champions at Protea Hotel, CBD, Ikeja.
Delivering her opening remarks, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs. Solape Hammond acknowledged that the prospect for the attainment of the target requires a harmonised appraisal of policies and initiatives that are to respond to the SDGs targets.
Speaking on the theme of the workshop “Measuring Progress of the SDGs in Lagos”, Hammond maintained that the session would discuss ways and approaches to improve the usefulness and comparability of sustainable information, its consistency with the existing reporting frameworks and reliability for decision-making on sustainable actions.
The Special Adviser explained that as a strategic partner in fulfilling the 2030 Agenda, the relevance of gathering and analysing data will aid the government in making informed decisions and ensure proper planning and inclusiveness.
“To hasten the progress of the notable proposition in Lagos, the Sanwo-Olu administration is taking additional steps to accelerate by providing opportunities across all social groups and building productive capacity in an inclusive manner”, she stated.
According to her, “To achieve a more successful implementation of the goals, a cross-cutting approach that involves gathering and analysing adequate data is vital. Our sector champions across MDAs are our correspondents in this regard. And having a demographic statistic of socio-physical components of the State i.e the people (children, widows, youths, elderly, working-class, vulnerable, etc.), landmass, bodies of water, shanties, buildings, corporate entities, etc. and how their interaction influence one another would help the government to be innovative in tackling some of the peculiar challenges inhibiting the attainment of the goals”.
On his part, the Technical Advisor, Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Dr. Bala Yusuf ascertained that the multidimensional phenomenon of these goals require that all MDAs find a way to get involved in this effort.
Bala stressed that SDGs cannot be achieved with stand-alone programmes and projects but they must be carefully integrated into the national and sub-national policies and development plans.
“The Federal Government is supporting States to mainstream these goals into their medium and long-term development plan”, he revealed.
He said that although financial resources, COVID-19 pandemic and persistent insecurity across the country have combined to slow down progress towards the achievement of the goals, the Nigerian government has demonstrated a strong commitment with the establishment of institutional frameworks at the national and sub-national levels to support effective implementation of the goals.
While expressing his confidence that Lagos State is destined to make a significant breakthrough in the overall attainment of the goals as it is on the right path with its T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, Dr. Bala emphasised that to leave no one behind, expertise and resources of the private and public sectors as well as the wider civil society are needed.
Giving a practical perspective of how the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda has evolved to complement SDGs, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals, Mr. Lekan Fatodu explained that identifying common interest across different sectors and developing local policies have given a strategic insight into the anticipated growth.
“As new ideas and solutions to longstanding problems are emerging, an expanded partnership involving traditional and non-traditional actors are being established to maximise and increase the impact of our policies”, he maintained.
Fatodu added that to ensure the government’s commitment leads to better health, improved standard of living, sustainable environment, equality and peace and other areas of focus of SDGs, the Office of SDGs and Investment periodically evaluates the impact of government initiatives on the larger society.
The round table discussion brought together policymakers, SDGs advocates both at the National and State levels, where a range of issues connected to the goals was discussed.