Official Launch Of Review Of Baseline Report & Realignment Of National Statistical System With SDGs 2020

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Our hosts, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and the Statistician-General, Dr. Simon Harry, thanks very much for your kind invitation to me to present this important report.


This ceremony marks the culmination of a process that began in 2016 for monitoring and evaluating the progress made in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria.


The grand ambition of the SDGs, as we know, is to engender an economically sustainable, socially inclusive and environmentally resilient world.  For Nigeria, and indeed Africa as a whole, the achievement of the SDGs is crucial to the task of ending poverty, hunger, and disease, and safeguarding our environment.


For our administration, our objective of achieving sustainable development, which means creating wealth, decent jobs, reducing poverty, addressing the issues of climate change – is both consistent with the aspirations of the SDGs and central to our entire vision for the country.


This is why in May 2019, Mr. President made a public commitment to lifting approximately 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within a 10-year period. This is a national development priority, which again follows on the establishment of our social protection programmes, the largest Social Investment Programme on the continent – and which by itself, is an attempt to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs across the country.


The programme is a multi-pronged approach to wealth creation, human capacity development and poverty alleviation. The Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) component of the programme reaches approximately 8.9 million poor and vulnerable households and 37.7 million individuals across the country.


The Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) has provided about 2.4million loans to petty traders and small entrepreneurs worth N38billion across the country, while the N-Power Programme, which is a youth employment and skills enhancement initiative is designed to employ 1million youths between the ages of 18-35 and further equip and enskill them for the job market over a 2-year period.


As a successor plan for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Nigeria SDGs Indicator-Baseline Report (2016) reinforced the need to strengthen our national statistical system to enable effective tracking and monitoring of the SDGs that we all committed to.


But it is a matter of some regret that just as we commenced the ‘Decade of Action’ for the SDGs, and had started recording modest progress on poverty reduction, the COVID-19 pandemic emerged undermining the prospects of achieving our aspirations.


The pandemic resulted in an unprecedented disruption of the global economy. While wealthier countries were able to effectively fund massive stimulus and social protection schemes to deal with the impact of the plague, developing countries including Nigeria, suffered disproportionately due to their resource constraints. Yet, to its credit, despite the restrictions occasioned by the COVID-19 outbreak and its fallouts, the Nigerian SDGs Office succeeded in putting in place effective institutional mechanisms at the national and sub-national levels to drive the implementation of the SDGs across the country.


During this difficult period, Nigeria successfully presented its Second Voluntary National Review (VNR) on the SDGs to the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development in July 2020.


The 2020 Voluntary National Review process was conducted by the deployment of ICT platforms to conduct virtual consultations across all the key segments of the society. The key findings identified the major successes as well as the challenges that must be addressed if we must achieve the SDGs by the year 2030. There is no doubt that the Nigeria SDGs Implementation Plan (2020-2030) offers a coherent pathway for achieving the expected outcomes in the next decade.


One of the areas of marked improvement in this document is the increased range of reporting – from the 126 indicators recorded in the 2016 Baseline Report to the 141 indicators in the current 2020 Report.  Broadening the spectrum of data covered by the report gives a more accurate picture of what is going on and can help shape more accurate policy responses.


The launch today, both completes and officially initiates the process of realigning the National Statistical System with the requirements of the SDGs.


It is as we have heard a product of the data mapping exercise, and the design and execution of the SDGs Data Bond.


The Federal Government is committed to guaranteeing the sustained production of relevant statistical information needed for effective tracking and monitoring of SDGs in Nigeria and so fully supports the partners in this important enterprise, namely, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Sustainable Development Goals, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the entire National Statistical System. With this Launch, we will be able to track our progress on the SDGs more accurately on an annual basis.


Also, as this Report itself observes, in order for the SDGs to be truly sustainable, they must be integrated into plans and policies of government. This is precisely the approach that we have taken beginning from the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017 – 2020), the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPGRS), the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) – our short-term response to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and now the National Development Plan – 2021-2025 which was approved by the Federal Executive Council only a couple of weeks ago.


Its core components include human capital development, infrastructure and social development all of which are vehicles for achieving the SDGs. More specifically, the Plan identifies as areas of emphasis and action, agriculture, food security and rural development, water resources, sanitation, social protection and health and nutrition.


These thematic areas mirror the SDGs and anchor the National Development Plan very tangibly to the achievement of the Goals. Our approach ensures that the SDGs are central to our national development efforts and are indeed policy priorities for the foreseeable future. Clearly, all of these policy and planning documents bear the imprint of the SDGs as overarching national priorities.


Let me conclude by commending the Senior Special Assistant the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, for her passion and commitment to the enormous task of meeting our SDG commitments and again to her and the Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr. Simon Harry, for your leadership in this important process.


In presenting this Strategic Report to Nigerians and the international community, I urge all stakeholders to pay close attention to its key findings and recommendations with a view to strengthening the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria.


It is now my pleasure to invite you in a moment to witness the presentation of the Report on the ‘Review of Baseline and Realignment of the National Statistical System with SDGs, 2020.’


I thank you very much for your attention.



The grand ambition of the SDGs, as we know, is to engender an economically sustainable, socially inclusive and environmentally resilient world.  For Nigeria, and indeed Africa as a whole, the achievement of the SDGs is crucial to the task of ending poverty, hunger, and disease, and safeguarding our environment.