The Office of the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has mobilised 400 corps members across the country to champion the implementation of SDGs 2030 in Nigeria.
Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, the SSA to the President, said this at the opening ceremony of the launch of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)/SDGs Champions at the NYSC Orientation Camp, Keffi, Nasarawa State.
The ceremony was organised by the Office of the SSA on SDGs in collaboration with the NYSC with the theme: “Youth Taking Action to implement the 2030 Agenda”.
Mrs. Adefulire said the corps members were mobilised to help prevent the drawbacks found with the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Nigeria.
The aide said one major drawback was the inability of communities where projects were sited to take ownership of the projects.
Mrs. Adefulire said the 400 corps members mobilised would therefore assist in advocacy of the SDGs in the 36 states and local government areas of the country.
She said the corps members would be the mouth piece of the office of the SSA on SDGs, urging them to be a voice for the weak and report any cases of abuse that they see in their communities of service.
“One of the aims of the NYSC/SGDs Champions will be to develop in the Nigerian citizenry a commitment to development through awareness creation in the implementation of the SDGs.
“It is also to galvanise Nigerians for active participation in the achievement of the SDGs. The SDGs champions who are the corps members will enrich SDGs activities in their various places of primary assignment.
“This will be done through collaboration with community members, private organisations to improve the lives of the youths in their various communities in line with the vision of the SDG’s in Nigeria,” Adefulire said.
She said that although Nigeria made appreciable progress in the implementation of the MDGs, it encountered critical challenges which had been rolled over to be addressed by the SDGs.
According to the SSA, the 17 goals of the SDGs are integrated, indivisible and balance economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.
She said in an effort to domesticate, integrate and mainstream the new agenda, the office of the SSA on SDGs was working assiduously to establish the policy and framework for the implementation of SDGs in Nigeria.
Suleiman Kazaure, the NYSC Director-General, said the participation of corps members in the implementation of the MDGs started since 2006.
He said the SDGs programme was a universal call to end poverty, hunger, gender inequality and promote healthy living and economic growth among Nigerians.
He said that the mobilisation of the corps members was a call for them to be the eyes and ears of their communities of service towards the achievement of development in the country.
Mr. Kazaure assured the SSA that the corps members would not fail in the discharge of their duties.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the SDGs is currently at the centerpiece of the current global development agenda which envisages a world free from poverty and deprivation where the fundamental conditions for human survival are safe guarded.
The vision, which was endorsed by 189 nations in New York in September 2015, is expected to guide nations, international organisations, private sector, civil society and governments in all countries in the shared pursuit of a healthier world and a better tomorrow.
The SDGs has 17 goals and 169 targets which is a response to the numerous challenges confronting the world today.
The 17 goals include no poverty, no hunger, good health, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, renewable energy, good jobs and economic growth, innovation and infrastructure.
Others are reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace and justice and partnerships for the goals.
NAN reports that the 400 corps members are the first batch of youths mobilised to champion the actualisation of the SDGs.
They are to undergo a five-day training after which they will commence advocacy at the grass root level. (NAN)