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‘PPP, domestic mobilisation of resources key to achieving SDGs’

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Ochuko Keyamo-Onyige

• Nigeria not on track to meet goals by 2030
Experts in Nigeria’s business sector have tipped domestic mobilisation of resources and Public Private Partnership (PPP) as a veritable driver in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The experts said collaborations among the government, civil society, non-profit organisations, and private individuals would help Nigeria and the world to achieve the goals for a sustainable development for the future.

Specifically, Country Manager Nigeria, GBC Health, Ochuko Keyamo-Onyige, said the country is stalled on some couple of goals and progress is not being made at the pace that it should be, noting that as a nation, Nigeria is not where it should be in terms of achieving the SDGs.

Speaking at an event, organised by Access Bank, in Lagos, to mark its 2019 Sustainability Awareness Week, she stressed the need for stakeholders to elevate the issue of sustainability by creating platforms through which awareness would be raised around the SDGs.

She maintained that through platforms from the private sector, Nigeria could elevate the issues of sustainable development and mobilise more businesses, stressing the need for the government to implement more policies needed to lift the country from its current state to where it needs to be.

Her words: “As a country, we have made progress on some fronts in achieving the SDGs but not as it should be. It is important to keep record of where we are right now and understand the challenges that we have, the gaps that need to be filled, and where we need to get to as a nation.

“Partnership is crucial and the government should also know that development is a process. The government should not only focus on meeting the deadline of achieving the SDGs by 2030 but also focus on ensuring that what we are doing is sustainable.

“Though there is currently a lot of drive towards partnership on the side of the government, they need to understand that depending on traditional means of funding from donors is very limited and there is need to start looking inward in order to engage more with the private sector.

“The private sector has a lot to contribute beyond just resources. They have the capacity in terms of innovation, technology, logistics, quality data and a lot of others. One sector can’t do this alone. We need multi-sectorial partnerships to actually drive the push to ensure that we get our goals.”

In her remarks, Executive Director, HACEY Health Initiative, Rhoda Robinson, said going by Nigeria’s projection, the country is not yet on track towards achieving the SDGs, and is not likely to realise the SDGs by 2030.

She said: “As a country, we are not anywhere close to achieving the SDGs, but with multi-sectorial partnership coming onboard towards achieving these goals, we will get there faster.

“One of the issues that we should be most particular about is gender equality. If you check the state of gender equality in Nigeria, you will find out that we have a high inequality ratio and different international declarations have stressed the fact that to achieve sustainable development, we have to focus on gender equality.

“This includes ensuring that whatever intervention we design or implement in achieving our goals, that we mainstream gender and how the initiative affect the both genders. Nigeria has a very high mortality rate and we cannot achieve development if we still have mothers and children dying during childbirth.”

Speaking earlier, Head Sustainability, Access Bank, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, said the bank was totally committed to sustainability practices as it is the only and right way to do business, noting that the weeklong programme aims to sensitise the masses on their individual roles they towards achieving the SDGs.

Also, Managing Director, Xploits Consulting Limited, Dr. Tayo Taiwo, identified environmental, social and financial risks as factors why financial institutions must embrace the SDGs, as they have wide-ranging set of global environmental, social and economic targets.

According to him, financial institutions can achieve this by developing an Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS), which can be integrated into its existing risk management framework including the risk assessment process for transactions.

“A well-developed ESMS can lead to decreased exposure to environmental and social risks, increase market opportunities, and an enhanced reputation, which help contribute to the long-term financial viability of the company,” he added.


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