United Nations seeks partnership with Lagos on SDGS

Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

The United Nations Office in Nigeria is seeking partnership with the government of Lagos in order to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon says it is imperative for both the government and the private sector to sustain the SDGs in order to see how the humanitarian issues in Nigeria’s North East can be resolved.

Mr Kallon while interacting with the Lagos State Governor in Ikeja hinted that he was in Lagos to interact and engage with stakeholders in the private sector on its critical roles in national development.

Kallon, who is also the UNDP Residential Representative, added that the challenges of modern day growth must be tackled especially in the areas of health, sanitation, education and shelters which is still critical.

The UN Envoy, who has so far visited eight states since assumption of office in December last year, described SDGs as benchmarks to measure performance in government.

“I see the SDGs as a fine thread that you can use to weave together the development aspirations of your government and the people of Lagos; they (SDGs) keep reminding you of how far you have gone in working on inclusive growth and meeting the needs of your people,”  Kallon noted.

He reiterated that the UN office prided itself in its comparative advantages it had in the areas of capacity building for national service delivery, technical assistance, policy and advisory services.

“Our comparative advantage does not lie in the provision of financial resources, but we have strengths in technical, policy, advisory services, capacity building for national service delivery, we have the capacity to connect the dots in international relations and partnerships which are very critical.”

He added “we do this through south-south co-operations and through triangular co-operations as well as bilateral co-operations reaching out to countries with best practices, we can link you up with the best brains in smart cities, urban solid waste management to realize your development aspirations.”

Lagos can lead Africa

The UN envoy also maintained that Lagos though currently the fifth largest economy in Africa, still had the capacity to become the biggest economic hub in Africa.

Mr Kallon applauded the revenue generation drive of Nigeria’s economic nerve, stressing that IGRs (internally generated revenues) are critical in engendering inclusive growth.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said as the fifth largest economy in Africa, Lagos State would collaborate with necessary organizations such as UN to scale up the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).

Governor Ambode added that his plan for the State was to emerge as the third largest economy within the next three to five years.

Omolayo.A