COVID-19: FG reaffirms commitment to actualising SDGs

Despite the setbacks encountered at the wake of the ‘Decade of Action’, the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria and Africa at large, between the year 2020 and 2030, due to the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Government reaffirms its commitments.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, gave the commitment at the maiden edition of Lafarge Africa Sustainability Webinar Series on Wednesday.

Giving her keynote address at the webinar with the theme ‘The Decade of Action: Advancing the SDGs in a post-pandemic era’, Adefulire represented by Dr Bala Yusuf, Senior Technical Advisor, noted that the Federal Government remain committed to eradicating poverty although the COVID 19 pandemic has challenged the prospects of achieving the SDGs.

She noted that in theory, the ‘Decade of Action’ means 10 more years of active implementation of the global goals by all the stakeholders. “It means 10 more years to cover grounds and achieve the transformative promise to ‘leave-no-one-behind’ by the year 2030. Unfortunately, just as we commenced the ‘Decade of Action’ for the SDGs in January 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic across the world has now challenged the prospects of achieving the SDGs.”

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Adefulire observed that beyond the health hazards and human consequences of the pandemic, the socio-economic uncertainties and disruptions come at a substantial cost to the Nigerian economy – which is largely dependent on oil and gas revenues, adding that COVID-19 has revealed the vulnerability of healthcare systems in developing countries.

To overcome the challenges ahead, she, therefore, urged strengthened Public-Private partnership, as seen in the fight against COVID 19, while commending the management of Lafarge Africa.

“The Lafarge Africa Sustainability Series is in line with our idea of the Private Sector Advisory Group on SDGs, which is to create a strategic platform for galvanising ideas, mobilising expertise and financial resources in support of the achievement of the SDGs in Nigeria,” she said.

While declaring the webinar open, Chairman of Lafarge Africa, Ade ADefioye, noted that Lafarge Africa’s Sustainability Strategy is focused on four pillars: Climate and Energy, Circular Economy, Environment and Community, adding that in line with the company’s commitment to Sustainability, economic and social governance is fully embedded in its operations and value chain.

“With the impact of COVID-19 and more than before, our commitment to Sustainability is absolute. Joining this conversation today is one of the ways we want to further entrench economic and social governance,” he said.

Country Chief Executive, Lafarge Africa Plc, Khaled El-Dokani, explained that the Sustainability Series is a four-week long engagement which would focus on what is needed collectively to achieve more measurable impact and accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals, adding that It also affords an opportunity to share best practices for adoption in Nigeria and agree collectively how we can jointly progress the SDGs from the decade of action.


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