Achievement of SDGs by 2030 depends on LGs’ involvement ― FG

THE Federal Government on Monday declared that efforts to actualise the integrated 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 will be futile without proper involvement of the 774 Local Government Councils in the country.

Acting Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, said this in Abuja while declaring open a three-day international conference on leveraging local governance for Sustainable Development in Africa.

Yemisi-Esan noted that local government remains the closest to the people from the standpoint of administrative convenience, a better grasp of the needs, peculiarities and aspirations of rural people.

The conference was organised by the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) in collaboration with the African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development (CAFRAD), on how to adapt local governance principles to complex societies in pursuing the SDGs.

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Yemi-Esan said the conference with the theme, “Leveraging Local Governance for Sustainable Development in Africa was apt, saying all over the world, local authorities have been regarded as important actors in the development practices.

She, however, lamented that even though local governments have been recognised as distinct actors in development for decades, the challenges at that level of governance remain the same.

The Acting Head of Service was represented by the Director, Learning and Development in her Office, Mr Augustine Uzor at the event that attracted experts and stakeholders from Nigeria and outside the country.

Yemisi-Esan said: “The importance of the conference is hinged on the fact that the magnitude of governance challenges in Africa would be greatly ameliorated if we begin to look at addressing them from the local governance level”.

Director-General of ASCON, Mrs Cicilia Gayya, in her remarks, said the conference was put together with the broad objective to encourage a robust debate on the role of effective local governance in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.

She noted the inherent weakness in local government administration in Nigeria and some African countries, stressing the local governments must be strengthened in order to contribute meaningfully to the development of the country.

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