Nigeria must develop the relevant frameworks for working with different types of partners and constituencies to create the enabling environment for executing the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.
That was the position of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire at the Private Sector engagement workshop on Sustainable Industrial development in Nigeria held in Lagos.
Adefulire, who was represented by the Secretary of Programmes in the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Ochapa Ogenyi said the country needed to create viable partnerships that would bring together national, regional and global leaders with shared objectives.
She said the country must also strive to domesticate and popularize the new agenda among its citizenry in order to mobilize national stakeholders towards the common goal of achieving the agenda.
Role of private sector in implementation
According to Adefulire, achieving the SDGs will require a lot of new investments and infrastructures in critical sectors of the economy and to this end, she called on the organised private sector to support government’s efforts by serving as a source of financing for the agenda.
“The private sector also has a role to play in innovations, technological advances and productive capacity, the engagement of private sector in designing and implementing growth and development policies and actions is key to achieving SDGs,” she said.
Also at the Forum, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Ms Fatma Samoura identified the private sector as being in the centre stage of the execution of the SDGs implementation process, noting that private business activity, investment and innovation are the major drivers of productivity, inclusive economic growth and job creation.
“While the diversity of private sector, ranging from microenterprises to cooperative to multinationals, is to be acknowledged, the need for private sector to apply its creativity and innovation to solving sustainable development challenges applies across the entire spectrum. With respect to the private sector, there are no big or small players; there are only important critical players in the development process,” she noted.
Ms. Samoura said it would be necessary for the private sector to form strong networks through which they can interact with government on policy discussions at both the federal and state levels.
She, however, said for the Organised Private sector to effectively play its role in SDGs implementation, there was the need for a change in business model and strategy.
She emphasised that, “the challenge for the private sector is to move towards inclusive and sustainable business models, going beyond philanthropy and voluntary corporate social responsibility , to innovative financing and smart investments in sustainable development initiatives without undermining profitability.”
The forum also had in attendance representatives from private sector companies under the Manufactures Association of Nigeria-MAN, the National Association of Small Scale Industrialists and National Association of Chambers of Commerce and industry among others who spoke on various means of achieving the SDGs.
The SDGs was adopted by 189 nations at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, New York, United Sates, in September, 2015.
The 17 goals and 169 targets of the SDGs seek to build on the
Millennium Development Goals-MDGs and complete what they did not achieve over the next 15 years.