The United Nations Support for the Sahel has said Nigeria needs about $337 billion to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) from 2019 to 2022.
According to the UNSS, the cost of implementing the SDGs in Nigeria is 80.65 billion dollars in 2019, 82.83 billion dollars in 2020, 85.07 billion dollars in 2021 and 87.37 billion dollars in 2022.
The plan also reported that the cost of implementation of SDGs in the Sahel is projected to be between 140.25 billion dollars and 157.39 billion dollars per year between 2019 and 2022 in the 10 Sahelian countries.
The plan said the 10 countries under the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel needed an average of 148.7 billion dollars annually to implement the SDGs or 594.8 billion dollars from 2018 to 2022.
The goal of the Plan that targets 10 countries; namely Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, The Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal, is to scale up efforts to accelerate shared prosperity and lasting peace in the region.
Also, the Plan covering the period of 2098 to 2030, would help implement identified priorities to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union Agenda 2063, the report said.
The plan however reported that public-sector funding gap, on average, remained at 36.2 per cent of the required resources.
UNISS, which was approved by the Security Council in 2013, is a part of a preventive and integrated approach to strengthening governance, security and development in the region.
According to the plan, the Sahel is as much a land of opportunities as it is of challenges, and it is blessed with abundant human, cultural and natural resources, offering tremendous potential for rapid growth.
It aims at mobilising public resources and triggering private investments in the 10 countries in support of ongoing efforts and initiatives by governments, international and regional organisations, among other partners.
It also added that in terms of natural resources, the Sahel is one of the richest regions in the world and is abundant with oil, natural gas, gold, phosphates, diamonds, copper, iron ore, bauxite, biological diversity and precious woods, among many other assets. These, the UN said, offer immense value for economic diversification, value-chain development and livelihoods, the UN plan said.
The UN plan also noted that the Sahel is equally endowed with more potential for renewable energy such as solar and wind than other regions of the world.
Specifically, the UN plans said the solar energy potential translates to about 13.9 billion Kilowatt hours per year compared to the world’s electricity consumption of 20 million Kilowatt hours per year.