Members of the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, expressed support for the establishment of Sustainable Development Fund charged with responsibility for imposing, operating and managing the fund for the attainment of sustainable development goals in Nigeria and for related matters.
The bill was sponsored by the chairman, House Committee on Army, Hon Abdulrasak Namdas, who underscored the need for the 9th National Assembly to accelerate the legislative process in passing the bill into law.
In his lead debate, Hon. Namdas said: “Following the expiration of the timeframe for the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015, the Heads of Government of 193 UN Member States gathered again in New York, USA, in September 2015 to unveil to the world a development agenda that would last the next fifteen years.
“This development agenda was code-named Agenda 2030, so named to signify its terminal date. And just as it happened with the Millennium Summit of 2000 which inaugurated the Millennium Development Goals, the 2015 Summit of the Heads of Government also formally launched the new development paradigm called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“This action at the UN Headquarters was the official endorsement that the UN Member countries around the world needed to formally adopt, domesticate and integrate the SDGs into the development planning strategies and agenda of their countries.
“Being of a much wider scope than the MDGs and thus attending to some of the needs of the developed countries, the SDGs could truly be referred to as Global Goals. Like the rest of the world, Nigeria hot only ratified the SDGs at the UN but also took immediate steps to distil them into the development framework of the country.
“To demonstrate its keenness to implement the SDGs seamlessly, the Government of Nigeria started developing its planning frameworks early so as to ensure greater successes during implementation,” he noted.
According to him, the six essential elements of the SDGs include; Dignity: to end poverty and fight inequality; Prosperity: to grow a strong, inclusive and transformative economy; Justice: to promote safe and peaceful societies and strong institutions; Partnership: to catalyse global society for sustainable development; Planet: to protect our ecosystems for all societies and our children; People: to ensure healthy lives; knowledge and the inclusion of women and children.
Hon Namdas also underscored the need for these essential elements constitute the set of 17 goals and 169 targets and 230 indicators, with the view to end poverty in all its forms everywhere; end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture; Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages; ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
He also stressed the need to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all; ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modem energy for all; Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for ail; Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation; reduce inequality within and among countries; make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
In addition, Hon Namdas stressed the need to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development; protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss; promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels; and strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for sustainable development.
He also applauded the efforts of the Vice President, Prof.Yemi Osinbajo on the inauguration of the Nigerian Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the 28th of February, 2017, aimed at mirroring the Global Private Sector Advisory Group which was established by United Nations Sustainable Development Fund to effectively achieve effective public-partnerships for the SDGs as a result of the numerous challenges faced during the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.
According to him, the “PSAG in Nigeria will provide guidance and strategic support to achieve a more streamlined implementation of SDGs in Nigeria. By design, the group will work to share ideas across industry sectors and regions with the aim to ultimately create a connective platform for more impactful and local-driven models and solutions to achieve the SDGs.
“The PSAG would also help the nation address and solve development issues sustainably and more optimistically. The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for Sustainable Development marks a new dawn in the implementation of pro-poor projects and programmes in Nigeria.”
To this end, the bill was referred to the House Committee on the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals for further legislative action.