The Lagos State Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment (SDG&I) has launched the first edition of the Sustainable Development Goals Week as part of efforts to inspire citizen’s commitment, advocacy and action towards promoting and accelerating the realisation of the SDGs in Lagos State.
According to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs. Solape Hammond, the endeavour is a symbol of the State’s strong leadership, vision and commitment towards greater development.
Hammond also stressed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s spirited resolve to address the development needs of Lagosians, particularly in the face of the ongoing pandemic.
“The outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has heightened the call for renewed dedication to sustainable development by governments at various levels, which Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has taken as great priority and infused in the state’s development agenda codenamed THEMES (Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy, Entertainment and Tourism as well as Security and Governance).
“While the pandemic has significantly exacerbated some of the problems Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are set to solve, it has also triggered the necessity for more concerted actions in addressing many developmental issues troubling our world,” she asserted.
Hammond disclosed that the event, in commemoration of the United Nations’ Global Goals Week, will run till the end of September, 2020, and will mobilise collaborative efforts to connect SDGs actors and cross-sector stakeholders with a view to identifying solutions, reviewing progress, amplifying awareness, collaborating and reaffirming commitment towards accelerating efforts to achieve the 17 SDGs and the 2030 agenda.
She explained that the State Government is setting a lofty precedence in the country, and perhaps in Africa by effectively mobilising individual action towards the attainment of the SDGs, and added that the administration would continue to drive, extract and utilise available platforms towards improving the living standard of the people.
In his remark, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on SDGs, Mr. Lekan Fatodu, said the focus is to double up our efforts and galvanise more actions towards the attainment of the global goals.
“Lagos State is reputable for audacious strides and accomplishments. And these remarkable traits are consistently being brought to bear in our approaches towards realising the SDGs. This maiden SDGs Week is a clear demonstration of our acknowledgment of many dynamic and relevant ways of amplifying the significance of the SDGs and, more importantly, a strategic way of identifying and attracting passionate drivers of the SDGs in Lagos State to join hands towards achieving the goals.
“The effort to reach everybody, including the most vulnerable and marginalized, requires strong community and citizen engagement and organic participation. This strategy holds great value as we approach the last decade of SDGs,” he affirmed.
Fatodu further stated that “the Sustainable Development Goal Week is a proactive and ground-breaking initiative to implement joint efforts towards meeting the targets and indicators of the SDGs”.
While applauding the unalloyed contributions of prominent individuals, Corporate Institutions and Non-Governmental Organisations, the Governor’s aide revealed that “the initiative will further bring to fore the need for urgent and collective effort towards finding sustainable solutions to current and impending challenges facing humanity”.
The SDGs week will feature sustainable development-related activities that are intrinsically linked in their purpose to fast-track efforts towards progress in realizing the SDGs. Some of these activities include the Open Goals Adoption by top state functionaries and prominent Lagos residents, the Neighbourhood Outreach Campaign to enlighten citizens on their roles in achieving the Goals and a SDGs discourse with CSOs and youth groups that are focused on the SDGs.
The highlight of the week will be the distribution of support items and relief materials donated by corporate organisations and well-meaning Lagosians to vulnerable people in some communities and the disbursement of exercise books to primary schools in rural communities. This is in tandem with the ‘Turn It Around’ theme of the Global Goals Week, which seeks to empower people and communities to stem the negative tide of the pandemic as the deadline for the achievement of the global goals draws nearer.
In support of the Lagos SDGs Week and SDG 2 – Zero Hunger, the Old English Bakery will open all its outlets across Lagos State, where thousands of free loaves of bread will be given to Lagosians.
Amongst the reputable organisations and individuals supporting the inaugural Lagos SDGs Week are Procter & Gamble, Post Assurance Brokers, accomplished entrepreneur and global SDGs advocate, Mr. Tonye Cole; CEO, Post Assurance Brokers, Mr. Lekan Ajisafe; Human Resources expert, Ms. Mary Dinah and businessman, Akogun Lanre Alfred.