Poor funding has been identified as a major impediment in the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), at all levels of government in Nigeria.
The commissioner for SDGs and Social Development, Cross Rivers State, Olive Arok, made this disclosure at a 2 day training retreat on the capacity imperatives for implementing the SDGs in Nigeria, organised by the office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on SDGs, in Abuja.
The commissioner lamented the level of irregularity of state funding by the national body of the SDGs, and called for a review of the funding pattern for states.
This he said will strengthen the states to fully implement the SDGs programmes and development projects in the states.
“For us to be able to carry everyone along, we must look at the way of funding, you say each state should provide 50 percent of what is provided for them, what about some states that don’t have such funds to pay.
“The federal government has to look inwards to fund the SDGs, they should change from counterpart funding to grants, and ensure proper monitoring of the grants” he said.
Highlighting the challenges Cross Rivers faces in implementation get the development goals, he said the last time the national body of the SDGs funded development activities in state is 2016. However he is hopeful that this year his state will be able to access funds.
The Senior Special Adviser to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Adefulire, in her speech also called for strong financial commitment and support from government at all levels and critical development partners for the realization of the target goals.
“The financing needs to implement the SDGs are no doubt massive, but we must mobilize all sources of finance; domestic and international, public and private to harness the potentials of innovative financing schemes, and most importantly align financing flows and policies with sustainable development priorities” she said.
She emphasized on the need to mainstream the SDGs with National development plans with the intent of focusing on households and communities.
The retreat had in attendance, representatives of federal MDAs and the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.