Niger Government has reiterated its commitment to putting strategies and policies to attract more national and international partners to build a viable and secure environment for businesses and investment to thrive in the state.
Gov. Abubakar Bello said this while declaring open the Annual Retreat of the UN Country Team Nigeria held at the Royal Institute for Training and Human Capital Development, Zuma Rock Resort, Suleja.
This is contained in a statement issued in Minna by Lawal Tanko , Information Officer at the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), on Tuesday.
It said the theme of the retreat is “Strengthening the UN Country Team support to SDGs implementation”.
The Governor who was represented by the SSG, Ahmed Matane,revealed that the present administration in the state was determined to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) by modestly implementing projects and programmes in almost all the vulnerable communities of the state. “
The State Government has over the years focused on developing an effective healthcare system that will ensure a comprehensive primary healthcare centre in each of the 274 wards across the State. “
However, through the support of SDGs, Government has been able to complete 15 Comprehensive Primary Healthcare Centres completed and equipped across the state, ”the governor said.
He told the participants that at the height of COVID-19 pandemic, the SDGs supported the Government in the areas of advocacy and sensitization, Procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), non-contact thermometers, drugs, face masks, and other sanitary items.
In addition, he said, the state government had since taken the opportunity of the COVID-19 to construct Molecular Laboratory at General Hospital Minna for testing COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
Bello further said that all of these modest achievements did not come without some challenges, among which was the COVID-19 pandemic “which tested our resilience as a people and adversely affected our inflow of funds, resulting in certain drawbacks in the attainment of our set targets. “
The recent increased cases of insecurity in some parts of the state has further taken a toll on our finances. “The situation has also led to the dislocation of many communities, thereby posing a looming challenge of food security,” he said .
He expressed optimism that the retreat would help in integrating the challenges and opportunities in the implementation of the programmes of the UN System.
The governor said that the “outcome of your deliberations from this retreat will stimulate renewed commitment and development of new strategies for the attainment of SDGs in Nigeria”.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, disclosed that the essence of the retreat was to reflect on the performances of the UN Development System in Nigeria in the previous year and agree on what needed to be adjusted or improved in the coming year.
Kallon reaffirmed the UN Nigeria’s commitment to supporting the development aspirations of the Government and people of Nigeria.
The Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN in Nigeria emphasised that the UN Nigeria was leaving no stone unturned in this Decade of Action to accelerate the achievement of the 17 SDGs and their targets.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari,represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Special Projects, Mr Effiong Johnson, appealed to the UN Nigeria for support and collaboration with the Government at all levels toward attaining the SDGs in Nigeria.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Adegoke Orelope Adefulire,reaffirmed that the 17 goals and 169 targets are aimed at eradicating poverty in all its ramifications and shifting the world to a sustainable and resilient development path.
Princess Adefulire stated that following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria began to implement the SDGs almost immediately.
First, it established institutional frameworks at the national and sub-national levels to support effective implementation.( NAN)