VICE President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday inaugurated the Donors’ Partnership Forum for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
At the event, the VP noted that the trust and optimism of the forum was for the government and people of Nigeria to defeat extreme poverty.
“There is no way of fighting poverty and its many causes and implications without social safety nets in one form or the other.
“It explains why we believe that eradicating corruption is central to eradicating extreme poverty.
“We cannot allow theft of public resources and speak of sustainable development.
“It also explains why this event is important to us.
“Nurturing relationships with proactive development partners is crucial if we are to make any real progress by 2030.
“We have learnt many lessons from the implementation of the MDGs especially that of ensuring that we set clear goals, timelines and KPIs (key performance indices) for our important partnerships and ourselves.
“It is gratifying that the UNDP will bring its resources and experience to anchor the work of the forum.’’
Osinbajo noted that there was the tendency for huge global programmes such as the SDGs to become mere aspiration or academic.
He, however, said that the reality for countries such as Nigeria simply would not permit such scepticism.
“The SDGs address existential problems, extreme poverty, social inclusion, justice and environmental sustainability amongst others.
“Each of these issues is crucial. For example, social inclusion engages some of the class and parochial tensions that flare up constantly in the Nigerian polity.
“Concerns over drought and implications of the drying up of the Lake Chad for food security and livelihoods in the Lake Chad Basin area must focus our minds on climate change,’’ he added.
He said the administration had undertaken the largest single investment programme in the country and Sub-Saharan Africa, worth N500 billion yearly.
He added that social investment had become a major pillar of the administration’s economic recovery plans.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Adefulire, called for collaboration between the government, private sector, development partners and donor partners to achieve the goals.
She said the forum would work out ways of pooling funds and other resources toward achieving the SDGs.
She said the country had taken the lead in inaugurating the private sector group as well as bringing the UN agencies together for the donor partnership forum.
“The essence of all these is to make life more meaningful for the people of Nigeria.
“The commitment made by President Muhammadu Buhari is that the country, as a member-state of the UN system, will achieve sustainable development.
“We expect that the donor community and the government of Nigeria with the private sector will raise fund to build capacity, create awareness to ensure that Nigerian people benefit (from the partnership),’’ she said.
Adefulire said that the SDG office would soon gather other stakeholders, such as the NGOs, CSOs, academia, youths and people living with disability to ensure that SDG goals was achieved in the country.