UNDP Res. Rep Opia Mensah Kumah speaks to the delegates at the Social Good Summit in Abuja
UNDP Res. Rep Opia Mensah Kumah speaks to the delegates at the Social Good Summit in Abuja

Abuja, 30 November – To raise awareness around the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations Development Programme in Nigeria partnered with the Government of Nigeria, One Campaign, Save the Children, UN Millennium Campaign, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Education as a Vaccine and Social Good Nigeria to hold the Social Good Summit 2015.

“The Social Good Summit is a flagship event for UNDP which we are using as a platform to bring partners at both Federal and State levels as well as grassroot activists to help make the new Global Goals a household name everywhere in Nigeria.” Said Opia Kumah, UNDP Resident Representative.

Opia further called for fearless leadership and broad participation of all Nigerians if the SDGs were to be realized. “Although we all know that the government is the custodian of the national development agenda, citizens’ efforts and support in mobilising the needed resources remain key in delivering development results. The country will only achieve more than it did during the MDGs era if political will is matched with adequate resources; both financial and human.” He added.

With the theme, “New Goals. New power. New technology,” the Social Good Summit in Nigeria brought together a broad spectrum of stakeholders who discussed the country’s opportunities and challenges as Nigeria and the rest of the world enters the new development era. While underscoring the achievements made in meeting some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets, the delegates at the Summit highlighted the need for an institutional framework that will ensure effective implementation and successful realization of the SDGs.

Drawing on lessons from MDGs, the Summit highlighted the challenges Nigeria continues to face in tracking development progress largely due to the absence of a widely agreeable source of data. “We will continue to support the Government of Nigeria, through the National Bureau of Statics (NBS), and other relevant institutions, to ensure that it captures and makes available up-to-date data for use in setting baselines and tracking progress during the SDGs era.” said Pa Lamin Beyai, UNDP Country Director, during a panel discussing focusing on harnessing data and technology for realizing the SDGs.

At the Summit, the Government of Nigeria, through the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs (OSSAP) unveiled the country’s MDGs End-point Report as well as its Transition Strategy-from MDGs to SDGs. During the unveiling of the report, Secretary of Programmes, Mr Ochapa Ogenyi, applauded Nigeria’s leadership in implementing and reporting on progress made in achieving the results made during the MDGs era.

In highlighting the commitment being made by the government to ensure early implementation of SDGs, the Ministry of Budget and National Planning stated that the Government of Nigeria had already begun mainstreaming SDGs into its planning processes.

The Social Good Summit in Nigeria was part of more than 100 Social Good Summits organized around the world, most of them during and just after the UN General Assembly in September, to raise awareness around the SDGs.

Adopted by all 193 UN Member States, the SDGs are 17 ambitious goals to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice and tackle climate change for everyone by 2030. UNDP Nigeria stands as a ready partner to support Nigeria to carry forward efforts aimed achieving the Goals at the national and sub-national level by 2030.

UNDP Nigeria’s aim for the Social Good Summit was to help make the new Goals famous at the national level. Making the Goals famous will be the first important step in achieving this new and ambitious development agenda. The Summit was attended by more than 300 delegates drawn from Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Civil Society Organisations, Academia and Sub-national (State level) Government representatives.

By Dotun Roy

DotunRoy.com is a development driven news website with the overall goal of amplifying, promoting and advocating for positive societal change through Sustainable Development advocacy in line with UN SDGs components such as education, environmental sustainability and Climate Change, Human Rights, health, finance, housing, good governance as well as security in Nigeria and across the world.

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