Monday, July 11, 2016 7:23 AM / Sahara
Nigeria’s government, the United Nations and Sahara Group are set to host a private sector forum to create awareness on collaborations to support the development of a Universal Sustainable Development Agenda in Nigeria.
The results of this workshop will inform a new UN global report on business and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) being prepared by the UN Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F).
The workshop tagged: Business Contribution to a Universal Sustainable Development Agenda; holds on July 14, 2016 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria. Participants include: Heads of public sector parastatals, private sector organisations and multilateral agencies.
Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on SDGs, Princess Victoria Orelope-Adefulire, said the workshop would highlight how businesses can effectively contribute towards achieving the SDGs in Nigeria through mobilisation of financing for the United Nations SDG Fund initiative.
Orelope-Adefulire said participants would exchange ideas on how to articulate a Universal Agenda in different private sector industries and contexts; incorporate and implement the SDGs into the core business activities and operations; and address challenges peculiar to Nigeria with regards to achieving the SDGs.
The Nigerian President's aide said the government was hopeful collaboration with the private sector will hasten the attainment of the SDGs and ultimately drive diversification of the Nigerian economy, wealth creation, revenue generation opportunities, improved child and maternal care as well as gender equality opportunities.
“The desired aim would be to work closely with the private sector to develop initiatives that would address the peculiarities of nationalizing the SDGs in Nigeria in line with the Universality Agenda. Ultimately we hope to set a strong foundation for developing a framework for further discussions scheduled for the last quarter of the 2016,” she noted.
According to Tonye Cole, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Sahara Group, achieving multi-sectoral collaboration in the private sector remained a critical requirement for driving the SDGs in Nigeria.
Cole said it was imperative for the private sector in Nigeria to coalesce efforts geared towards the SDGs to enhance scale, impact and sustainability of the various initiatives across the nation. “Private businesses in Nigeria have really been doing a lot to promote the SDGs in Nigeria. However, when you consider the ground we need to cover, a collaborative approach becomes the only sustainable solution. We will be exploring this approach at the workshop and I am confident that the outcomes will launch us further in our quest for attaining the SDGs through shared ideas, resources and platforms.”
He noted that Sahara, a leading African energy conglomerate, was eagerly looking forward to Nigeria’s private sector heeding the “clarion call” to spearhead a continent-wide movement to institutionalise and implement the SDGs in Africa through collaboration. “Having been a part of the maiden forum held last year in New York, I see this workshop as Nigeria’s best shot at sustainably attaining the SDGs within the prescribed timeline of the United Nations.”
Director, SDG-F, Paloma Duran highlighted that for SDGs to be achieved by 2030 it is necessary to work differently. In particular, “businesses and private sector should be at the core of sustainable development efforts”. For doing so, “we need first to listen from businesses and learn how public and private sector can work better jointly for SDGs”.
This event is part of a series of workshops organized by the SDG Fund with members of its Private Sector Advisory Group. She noted that “Nigeria is spearheading efforts to achieve SDGs. For that reason, I am convinced that the African regional workshop taking place on Thursday in Abuja will provide valuable insight and best practices from the Nigerian government and businesses for a new report on SDGs and universality to be launched by the SDG Fund at the UN headquarters in New York later this year”.
In this regard, she thanked the special collaboration of Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on SDGs, Sahara Group and UN agencies in Nigeria. “This workshop is a good example of how governments, businesses and the UN can work together for achieving SDGs”.