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UN, Sokoto Govt. sign N4.9bn SDGs implementation plan

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

As part of the effort to actualise Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) globally, the United Nation (UN) and Sokoto State Government (SOSG) have signed an N4.9 billion Annual Work Plan (AWP) for the implementation of the SDGs activities in the state

Out of the total implementation plan, the UN system was expected to cough out N2.3 billion while SOSG, being one of the five states selected for such partnership, would be expected to provide N2.6 billion.

By this arrangement, Sokoto state government would from 2018-2022 be part of the UN implementation of UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) tools to unite, harness ‘comparative advantages,’ and help states to accelerate” the execution of agenda 2030 and the SDGs.

At the signing of the agreement in Sokoto, the state governor, Aminu Tambuwal, said that his administration would continue to push on the actualisation of SDGs in the state.

“We are going to commit ourselves to the work plan…SOSG will make provision in the budget and make sure we back up the $6.1 million that you are going to give us,” the governor emphasized.

Pledging to look into the myriads of issues raised by the UN and incorporate them into the state’s developmental agenda, Tambuwal enumerated the achievements made in the areas of healthcare, social protection, infrastructure development, and sanitation despite the dearth of revenue.

He stated that the state government is committed to the delivery of good governance, developmental issues, deterring of violence against persons, and domestication of the Child Rights Act.

On insecurity, the governor, who noted that although the trio of “COVID-19, flood disaster and unemployed youths were catastrophe in waiting, argued that the state and all stakeholders have to ensure that all that was yet to happen especially as it regards influx of people from Libya, Niger Republic and Mali to the state were a confluence.”

“So, we must be seen to be responding to all these and making sure that what is happening and is snowballing into some kind of trouble, doesn’t happen here,” Tambuwal offered.

In his remarks, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, said his organization and the state government “must work together to find innovative solutions to turn this human tragedy (COVID-19) into a generational opportunity to build back better a more equal and sustainable world.”

Kallon said that it was possible through a “collaboration between the UN and your government under the SPOTLIGHT INITIATIVE”.

According to him, regular programming is yielding results in the areas of the establishment of a coordination entity to address gender violence, child protection, and social policy development.

Stating that the UN recognizes great efforts of the Zakat and Endowment Commission, Kallon said the organization also appeals to the state to pay more attention to social protection of children, development of girl-child education, pursuit of the transformation of the Almajiri system, and investment in maternal and newborn healthcare.

He added that the UN would want the government to step up its declaration of a state of emergency on gender-based violence by establishing services of a forensic DNA laboratory, averting maternal mortality and morbidity as well as the development of a state Water, Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) center.

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