Thursday, August 20,
2020 / 5:53 PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTVNG
Policymakers, business leaders and stakeholders agreed yesterday August 19, 2020, that collaboration, acceleration of activities and effective strategies must be deployed to achieve the sustainable development goals of the United Nations for Nigeria by 2030.
This was part of the main issues raised at the Lafarge Sustainability Webinar series that explored "The Decade of Action: Advancing The SDGs In a Post Pandemic Era".
Giving the keynote address at the event the Technical Advisor, Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals Dr. Bala Yusuf Yunusa asserted that there was a need to scale up efforts to expand the fiscal space for SDGs implementation in Nigeria.
Speaking also he stressed the need to draw on non-traditional sources of public finance, public-private partnerships, impact investments and strategic bonds as appropriate.
According to him "It is pertinent to state that, as in similar contexts, funding alone is not sufficient to guarantee the attainment of the SDGs in Nigeria. The recent (2020) IMF report on SDGs spending in Nigeria noted that beyond resources, improving coordination and strengthening governance is critical to delivering on the SDGs".
Giving added views on the report he said "Progress will require a whole-of-government approach, supported by strong coordination between the federal, state and local governments".
On the way forward she highlighted the following key areas which include:
The Chairman, Board of Directors of Lafarge Africa Mr. Ade Adefioye in his remarks said the sustainability webinar was in line with the organization's strategy that is focused on four pillars namely; Energy, Circular Economy, Environment and Community.
He said economic and social governance is fully embedded in the Lafarge Africa operations and value chain. According to him, it was the platform upon which the enterprise is built.
The CEO Lafarge Africa Plc., Mr. Khaled El-Dokani, also in his remarks believed that in simplifying the language of waste energy and sustainability among the people, there is a need to commercialize SDGs and make them more attractive.
He informed the stakeholders that the four-week-long engagement will focus on what needs to be done to collectively achieve a more measurable impact and accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals.
Mrs. Bola Adesola, Senior Vice-Chairman at Standard Chartered Bank Group, giving her opinion said critical accelerations such as promoting new skills acquisition, education, innovation and preventing job losses are needed for the delivery of the 2030 sustainable development goals.
She noted that the emerging markets will require $3.9trn to reach the sustainable development goals for the target year 2030. Mrs. Adesola also stressed that environment and social governance are critical to driving sustainable finance.
On his part, Mr. Marco Van Der Ree, Chief Development Officer, Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability professionals and committees are important to championing ESG activities for companies across the globe.
He called for new standards in ensuring compliance with ESGs as he reported that $600bn per year was evaded in tax by companies.
Mr. Andrew Venter, Director, Institute of Sustainable Leadership, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, urged all stakeholders to take seriously the commitment to achieving the SDGs by 2030.
He decried the fact that the millennium development goals (MDGs) since 2000 failed to achieve its objective by 2015. Mr. Venter was hopeful that this will not be elusive by 2030.