Nigeria’s Vice President, Profesor Yemi Osinbajo, says fighting corruption is central to the eradication of extreme poverty, insisting that sustainable development cannot be achieved with the theft of public resources.
Osinbajo stated this when he inaugurated the Donors’ Forum on Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, on Friday at the Vice-President’s Conference Room of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“We cannot allow the theft of public resources and speak of sustainable development,” the vice-president said, explaining that that the Buhari administration believes that sleaze must be eliminated to eradicate poverty.
Professor Osinbajo said that the SDGs address existential problems such as extreme poverty, social inclusion, justice and environmental sustainability, which he described as crucial issues in the global community.
According to him such issues as climate change, social inclusion raise questions with far-reaching implications for society and must be addressed deliberately.
“It explains why we have undertaken the largest single social investment programme in our history and certainly in all Sub-Saharan Africa all on 500billion naira every year,” Osinbajo stated, pointing out that it was for this reason that “social investment is a key pillar of our economic and growth plan.”
Osinbajo said the inauguration of the SDGs Donors’ Forum was important to the Nigerian government as it would aid the nurturing of “relationship with core active development partners such that are gathered in this room is crucial if we are to make any progress by 2030.”
According to the vice president, Nigeria learnt many lessons in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, especially about setting clear goals, timelines and key performance indicators, KPIs, for itself and for important partners.
He said it was gratifying that the UNDP would be bringing its resources and experience to anchor the work of the SDG Donors’ Forum and thanked the International Development Partners for the “trust and optimism in the ability of the government and people of Nigeria to ensure that extreme poverty and its outcomes are defeated.”
Earlier in her address, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Mrs. Adegoke Orelope-Adefulire, said that the SDG Donors’ Forum would “enhance efficiency of resources, curb project duplication and foster aid effectiveness, adding that it would “encourage policy coherence with attendant alignment of donors’ interventions with government’s medium and long term development plans.
Orelope-Adefulire noted that by working with the donors’ forum, her office would create SDGs ownership, enhance domestication at the grassroots, support multi stakeholder engagement and strengthen multi-lateral cooperation.
She listed the terms of reference for the forum to include, among other things, the mapping out of development partners’ support against national development priorities, the SDGs and the Addis Ababa Commitments and agreements and the documentation of the full range of resources and ideas that development partners can bring to be able to support SDGs implementation.
Others who spoke at the event were the Head, EU Delegation in Nigeria, Kurt Cornelius; the UN Resident Representative, Christine Albetein and the Country Representative of the UK Department for International Development, Ben Mellor.