Friday, September 04, 2020 / 09:43 AM /
Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: Lafarge Africa
The Private sector and data management will play critical roles in Nigeria's quest to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs by 2030.
This was the major takeaway from the Lafarge Sustainability 2020 Series 3 Webinar which discussed "Corporate Social Investments, Shared Value and National Development-Which Way Forward?".
In his welcome remarks, Mr. Khaled El Dokani, CEO Lafarge Africa who was also the chief host emphasized the need for increased investments in sustainable development.
He advocated for a platform that would provide the opportunity for the public and private sector and other groups to collaborate to explore how to deepen sustainable programmes in the country.
Mr. Khaled also argued that stakeholders should consider how they can commercialize sustainable development as a product.
Lafarge Africa's CEO believed that there was an opportunity for robust partnerships between the public and private sectors that will see an increase in the initiation and execution of sustainable projects.
Mr. Mohammed Yahya the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Resident Representative in Nigeria, in his intervention, said the UN Agency has supported efforts at combatting COVID-19 Pandemic with $25m majorly coming from the private sector.
The funds have been deployed for key medical supplies and the purchase of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).
Through the launch of the ISDG, Yahya said Nigeria was identified as a nation with a financing gap of $350bn, with the private sector expected to provide over $250bn which is over 70% of the funds.
According to Yahya, the private sector will be instrumental in implementing the SDGs and warned that failure for Nigeria to achieve it will have dire consequences for Africa.
He also acknowledged the fact that Data was very critical to providing a robust response to socio-economic issues in Nigeria, while the SDGs which are complex has 17 goals that will need effective data planning to strategize and address.
Also, the UNDP official noted that Data sourcing will be vital for effective decisions and policies even as there are efforts to develop an SDGs investor mapping process.
Mrs. Maryam Uwais, MFR the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments believed there were opportunities for collaborations to improve the activities of the SIPs.
"There is a need for effective data collection to know the challenges of households that are classified as poor for the requisite support required," she said.
Uwais said the Social Investment Programme office was ready to partner with the private sector to achieve SDGs and address the issues of abject poverty in the country.
The special adviser described the partnership with UN Agencies and other bodies as very encouraging but noted that support for the SIP Office in the area of infrastructure is critical for the period.
She also emphasized the need for the deepening of financial literacy and inclusion in the rural communities which has a huge population of vulnerable and poor people.
The representative of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and Director, Social Development, Mr. Abdulkadir Saadu, in his remarks called for more coordination and partnership between the public and private sector on implementing the SDGs, which provide immense opportunities for achieving scale in areas like Education/Human Capital Development, reducing poverty and accelerating a sustainable environment.
The Lafarge Sustainability Webinar series 3 was moderated by Toyosi Akerele Ogunsiji Founder and CEO, Rise Networks.