President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria would engage the services of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members across the country to champion the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 at the grassroots.
He said the corps members would work with 17 iconic SDGs ambassadors.
The president spoke on Friday at the virtual inaugural SDGs Moment, convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, during the high-level week of the 75th UN General Assembly.
In his video message to the meeting, President Buhari provided an update on SDG progress in the country, setting out Nigeria’s vision for the next decade in fighting poverty, combating illicit financial flows and ensuring economic recovery amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
”Our National Assembly has established Committees on Sustainable Development Goals.
”The National Youth Service Corps Scheme is also ensuring that Nigerian graduates actively participate in SDGs implementation processes by serving as SDGs champions at the grassroots.
”Going forward, we will invigorate the Goal achievement process at the grassroots by engaging the services of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals Ambassadors we appointed to support our efforts at the national level.
”We will also encourage more sub-national authorities to appoint and train SDGs Champions,” he said.
Re-affirming Nigeria’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other Internationally Agreed Development Goals, President Buhari told the meeting that anti-corruption institutions have been strengthened to enable the administration effectively combat illicit financial flows and recover proceeds.
Acknowledging that the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic had threatened to derail the progress in achieving SDGs, the President said Nigeria is addressing the threat by re-dedicating efforts towards economic diversification, focusing on agriculture and the mining sectors.
According to him: “Nigeria has made good strides in SDGs domestication processes, as we have commenced the re-alignment of the National Statistical System with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs.
“We have developed a novel home-grown ‘Integrated Sustainable Development Goals Model, as an analytical framework for assessing how policy making can better address the indivisible nature of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Nigeria has also set up a Model Private Sector Advisory Group and an SDGs Donors’ Forum with a view to engaging critical stakeholders towards the attainment of the SDGs”.
The President recalled that Nigeria presented its second Voluntary National Review on SDGs to the UN High-Level Political Forum in July 2020.
According to the President, ”the second Voluntary National Review highlighted our efforts to meet SDGs targets on the critical issues of poverty and an inclusive economy; health and well-being; education and gender equality; enabling environment of peace and security; and partnerships.”
He noted that these targets were based on current development priorities, as captured in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020), as well as the Medium Term National Development Plan (2020-2025).
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