On November 29, SDSN Nigeria, in partnership with a number of private sector representatives led by First Planet Consultant Ltd, hosted its first workshop on deepening cooperation with the private sector towards SDG implementation in Nigeria.
The first high-level strategic forum with main stakeholders themed “Making the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the Business of the Private Sector in Nigeria” and had the objective of seeking buy-in, inclusive participation and strategic engagement of the private sector concerning the SDG implementation process in Nigeria.
Over 80 members of the private sector attended the event, including the media, distinguished scholars and notable philanthropists. The keynote addresses were delivered by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the SDSN, Dr. Tony Marinho, Director of the EDUCARE TRUST, Mr. Hilary Ogbonna, Regional Coordinator of the UN SDG Action Campaign. Patrons of the network, among who are His Eminence, Professor Anele U. Nwokoma, Her Excellency Dame Pauline K. Tallen, Hajiya Maryam S. Ibrahim, as well as Zonal Coordinators, the Chair of Committees and some participants engaged in discussions on the presented topics.
The following roundtable welcomed critical thoughts on the over 25 concept notes and ideas received and mapped out a mid to long-term strategic action plan on the sustainable development programs for the country. The specific outcomes are as follows:
- Major ideas identified include educational development, infrastructural development, waste recycling, renewable energy, sustainable cities, water for consumption and irrigation, improved farming and post-harvest value addition, inclusive participation with social responsibilities, conflict prevention, and peace.
- Major action points for urgent attention include working and transforming these priority ideas into feasible and achievable pilot projects in various suitable localities, communities, and sectors.
Discussed projects include:
a) the development of an SDG curriculum and instructional materials for students and teachers, overhauling educational infrastructure focusing on ICT, laboratories, water and sanitation, communication and knowledge delivery, security of lives and properties, structural management and administration;b) embarking on massive awareness creation through product branding, communication media, and awards for business performance, social and moral impacts;c) water harvesting for consumption and irrigation through rainwater harvesting and abstraction from streams, rivers or underground aquifers, transmission and distribution management;d) a comprehensive survey of crop-specific production and post-harvest handling problems, collecting information on available local and foreign technology for scaling up productivity, shelf-life, value addition and dissemination of adequate and effective information to the farmers and relevant stakeholders, creating incentives for collating new innovations and solutions, teaching values of right consumption and conservation;
e) waste management for employment generation, renewable energy, siting of wastes recycle plants at strategic locations, designing aids and self-teaching slogans on commercial products, construction of green areas, building pro-green infrastructure, housing, parks and city models;
f) strategic engagement and reorientation of businesses and entrepreneurs on Corporate Social Responsibility actions that promote human well-being and sustainability in production, consumption, and profitability;
g) promoting people, technology-driven and research-based innovation development policies, strategies and partnership among stakeholders on the core values of trust, competence, capability, mutual respect, and benefits.
- From the above ideas and action points, some clearly stated projects from the schemes include
a) water harvesting for consumption and irrigation for different communities and regions of the country;b) SDG curriculum for easy dissemination of SDG-related content for all institutions and SDGs self-teaching guide for all categories of people in diverse languages and via media (television and radio programs, social media, music concerts, film series etc.);c) creation, modeling and branding awards for corporate entities and scholarships for active volunteers;d) continued capacity building for stakeholders in form of seminars, workshops, training of trainers, advocates, and volunteers across schools, regions, communities, professions and government sections;
e) creation of “SDG Innovation Challenges” driving concrete solutions;
f) open access and technology-driven database for development planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation;
g) equipping institutions with ICT facilities for knowledge creation, information sharing, communication, administration, and security;
h) construction of waste recycle plants and production of biofuel for clean energy;
i) tree planting and green area initiative;
j) company advertisement with SDG messages and product branding.
- The forum foresees these projects and programs to attract funding from businesses and corporate bodies including donor agencies, philanthropists, government, community members, organized groups, development institutions, alumni associations, local networks, and voluntary donations, under the condition that they are properly transformed into pilot projects in strategic locations and afterwards scaled up to multi-location projects.Participants expressed that they were better informed, equipped, and inspired to participate and contribute to the cause of SDG implementation. They agreed that the challenges of sustainable development have to be met by viable collaborations, adequate information sharing, especially in the data sector, and multi-stakeholder partnerships.