Stakeholders discuss solutions to address Nigeria’s sustainable development gap
LAGOS, 10 October 2019 —Global Compact Network Nigeria convened stakeholders to a breakfast roundtable to identify concrete actions for all stakeholders to contribute to delivering on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Themed "Bridging Nigeria’s Sustainable Development Gap," the roundtable highlighted the key financing issues affecting the success of the Global Goals in Nigeria, as well as possible solutions to these problems. In his remarks, the Emir of Kano and SDG Advocate, His Highness Muhammad Sanusi II, stated that the Global Goals are achievable if all stakeholders collaborate to make them work. "As Nigerians and Africans, we are primarily responsible for the SDGs. We do not need the UN to tell us to fight poverty; we do not need anyone to tell us that we should be concerned about malnutrition, about infant mortality, about maternal mortality, about youth unemployment, because we are primarily the victims of the systems that we have created. Many of these issues go back to the roots of non-attention to the SDGs both from the Government and the populace in general." Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact, said, "While progress on the Global Goals has been made, it is also clear that four years in, we are not on track. We are the last generation that can stop runaway climate change, and we are the first that can eradicate poverty. One common thing we have found in over 70 countries across the world where we are present is that the private sector has a crucial role to play in achieving the SDGs." Also speaking at the event, Soromidayo George, Chair of Global Compact Network Nigeria and Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainable Business at Unilever in Ghana and Nigeria, said, "Undoubtedly, poverty today is a real and present danger. It harms our women and children, it saps our men, drains national productivity, and to say it is an urgent problem understates the point. The time to take actions to address the challenge at hand is now." Bola Adesola, Senior Vice Chairman for Africa at Standard Chartered Bank and Vice-Chair of the Board of the UN Global Compact, said, "For the SDGs to be realized in Nigeria, companies should integrate them into their operations. These integrations, no matter how small they might be from individual companies, will not only go a long way in reducing poverty in Nigeria, they will also form a whole that can make Nigeria achieve the SDGs by 2030." The event witnessed the launch of a compendium that has impactful and life-changing stories of various initiatives taken by companies in Nigeria to achieving the SDGs. Launching the compendium, Olajobi Makinwa, Chief of Intergovernmental Relations and Africa at the UN Global Compact commended companies that reported on their activities, while she called on more companies to join this effort by showcasing their robust implementation of the Global Goals in the next compendium.