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Experts urge Lagos to align development agenda with global goals


Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Stakeholders from the private and public sectors have urged the Lagos state government to align its developmental agendas with existing global goals set by the world body.

They stated this during the maiden edition of Lagos Urban Dialogue organised by the state’s ministry of physical planning and urban development in-conjunction with the UN Habitat.

Leading the call, the human settlement officer, regional office for Africa, (UN Habitat), Dr. Odunbaku Omoh said currently Lagos has a lot of development agendas, which has not been tailored and aligned with some of the global agendas relating to sustainable development goals, the climate change agenda and the new urban agenda.

“We have the ‘THEMES’ which the Babajide Sanwo-Olu led government is championing towards the development of Lagos but it’s important that the Lagos state government align the theme with sustainable development goal, climate change agenda and the new urban agenda among others so that it would be easier to report, implement and monitor progress made in the lives of the people. It is expected that our members across the world can achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the next 20-year by adopting the tenets particularly the goal11 which is on sustainable human settlements in cities.”

Speaking on how the state and Nigeria could achieve sustainable development goals and the new urban agenda to complement other achievements, she charged the government to muster the needed political commitment and sincerity saying that it formed the basic of all tools, as other supporting machineries are within the purview of authorities.

She said, “The state needs to do a lot of capacity building and awareness creation on innovations. We also have issues of social integration, innovative financial mechanism and artificial intelligence, could be adopt to solve challenging situation faster. Although government has made efforts but the efforts are isolated and so it difficult to report, implement and analyze. For instance how many unemployed youths do we have, we need to know the number. By aligning it with SDGs it would be easier to access progress within 10-20years.

“This is not a socialist economy; the government in a capitalist economy should be an enabler for private sector to play a role especially in partnership with the government to provide the jobs. The number of jobs provided by the government is very minimal compared to what the private sector is providing.”

Speaking on, “Implementing sustainable development goals: An essential to achieving Lagos 21st century economy”, the special adviser to the Lagos state governor on sustainable development goals, Mrs. Solape Hammond said for the state to attain the status of a 21st century economy to be properly called, it must fix power, introduce efficient integrated mode of transportation, smart health care system, provide affordable housing for the people, introduce environmental sensors for prompt waste management and put in place quality education system.Hammond who was represented by Mrs. Abosede George stated that schools must be equipped with necessary infrastructure that would make the pupils globally competitive.

Addressing the participants, the commissioner for physical planning and urban development, Dr. Idris Salako said the forum is designed as part of efforts to help Lagos achieve a 21st century economy through a sustainable city policy that provides equal opportunity for all, affordable housing and where people has the right to live and aspire to become whatever they wished.

Salako said Lagos, as sub-saharan African city is faced with challenges such as water, safety and security, entrepreneurship, economic development and environmental resource management and other stressing that government is not resting on its oars to surmount the problems.

On his part, a professor of urban planning at the university of Lagos, Leke Oduwaye who said urban areas represent three per cent of the global earth advised the government to fix urban centres since it is a sustainable resource for generating funds.He said sustainable development is about providing for the future generations through proper development.


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