Nigeria will present its national report on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a forum in July, sharing its successes and challenges with the international community.
The forum which holds in New York from July 17 to 19, will also afford Nigeria and 44 other countries the opportunity to mobilise additional support and partnerships for the implementation of SDGs.
Deputy Country Director, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mandisa Mashologu, stated this on Monday in Abuja at training on SDGs for aides of principal officers of the National Assembly.
The event was organised by the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS), in partnership with UNDP.
“In realisation of the commitment of Nigeria’s leadership to the SDGs process, Nigeria has volunteered to present its national report on the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development during the High-Level Political Forum scheduled to take place in New York,” the UNDP Deputy Country Director stated.
According to her, federal lawmakers play critical roles in the implementation of SDGs, pointing out that UNDP has engaged with the leadership of the National Assembly towards ensuring renewed commitment of legislators on the SDGs in law making and oversight.
While calling for citizens’ ownership of the SDGs, Mashologu said UNDP has taken proactive measures to engage with government institutions in coming up with baseline mapping and identifying national priorities for implementation under the SDGs.
“By regularly holding hearings and requesting plenary reports, parliaments can bring the SDGs to the attention of the public and the media, thereby encouraging accountability at all levels.
“Parliaments can ensure the process of developing a national development vision is informed by an inclusive and participatory political dialogue. Through annual parliamentary reviews of proposed government expenditures, parliaments can ensure adequate financial resources are allocated to the achievement of the post-2015 objectives and that sustainable development priorities are reflected in national and local budgets,” she said.
She said the UNDP is currently providing technical support for Akwa-Ibom, Borno, Benue, Edo, Anambra, Kogi and Adamawa States.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
The SDGs was agreed to by Heads of State and Government in September 2015 to set the world on a path towards sustainable development through the adoption of the 2030 Agenda.
The agenda includes 17 goals which includes: end poverty in all forms; end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture; ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all; ensure inclusive and equitable quality education; achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all among others.
In his keynote address, Senate President Bukola Saraki submitted that parliamentary oversight led to the overall reduction in capital and recurrent expenditure and ensuring that only projects with direct relevance to the people are prioritised in budgetary allocations.
Represented by Chief of Staff to the Senate President, Hakeem Baba Ahmed, Saraki said the main function of legislators is to pass quality bills that would improve the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
He said: “They (legislators) have nothing more than to turn up quality legislation and to exercise oversight in such a way that ordinary citizens in the street can feel the impact of the National Assembly”.
On her part, the Director General NILS, Ladi Hamalai, a professor, said the legislative aides are important in facilitating legislations that would be useful in the attainment of the goals.
OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja