Home National CSOs demand urgent re-organization of Nigeria’s SDGs office

CSOs demand urgent re-organization of Nigeria’s SDGs office

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A coalition of civil society groups in Nigeria under the umbrella of New Nigeria United Forum, has urged President Bola Tinubu to urgently reorganize the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs in order to help quicken the realization of his Renewed Hope Agenda.

National Coordinator of the Coalition, Ogbeni William Odewale in a statement on Friday also urged President Tinubu to look beyond the South West and appoint another competent Nigerian to drive the Goals.

According to Odewale, the SDGs office in Nigeria in the last eight years did not achieve much, adding that a critical stakeholder who understands the development sector and how to drive the goals should be appointed to the office.

He also urged President Tinubu to use the office to achieve some of his administration’s critical objectives within the next four years.

He said, “With the exit of President Muhammadu Buhari, Orelope-Adefulire’s tenure also expired. Though a sigh of relief for many stakeholders in the development sector, Orelope-Adefulire, no doubt, may have done her best.

“From available records, her records are a far cry from acceptable norms. Her eight years in office, unfortunately, had no direct impact on vulnerable Nigerians who ought to have benefited from her tenure.

“As President Bola Tinubu settles down, he needs to be reminded that Nigeria is beyond the South West. As a truly pan-Nigerian leader, Tinubu, we are certain, will not repeat the mistakes of President Buhari.

“In the House of Representatives, the Committee chairman on SDGs is Wale Raji. He hails from Lagos State. Similarly in the Senate, the Committee chairman on SDGs is Idiat Oluranti. Like Raji, she hails from the South West too.

“Orelope-Adefulire who served for eight years as Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, is a former deputy governor of Lagos State. For an administration that wants to be fair to every component unit of Nigeria, a new scribe from another part of Nigeria needs to be considered for the position of the Senior Special Assistant or Adviser to the President on Sustainable Development Goals.

“Nigeria also needs someone who understands what SDGs entail and how to implement them dutifully. Constructing small classrooms, unoccupied primary healthcare facilities, and other misplaced priorities, should be discontinued. Unfortunately, those are the only insignificant projects Orelope-Adefulire executed.

“As head of the SDGs office, Orelope-Adefulire localized the implementation of the goals and restricted her interventions to mainly Lagos State. The poor and vulnerable people in rural communities were completely ignored by Orelope-Adefulire when she held sway.

“On three fronts, there are reasons why the SDGs Office needs a breath of fresh air. Orelope-Adefulire has done her eight years. Pushing for any extra time in office or any reappointment should be discouraged by any legitimate means possible.

“Again, Lagos State has gotten its fair share of offices and positions since Tinubu was appointed. Appointing another Lagos State person to hold that office will be unfair and insensitive.

“With Lagos State producing chairmen of the Senate and the House of Representatives on SDGs, another geopolitical zone should be allowed to produce the next presidential aide on SDGs.

“The new person needs to target the vulnerable, the poor and ensure that the goals are fully achieved. Allowing politically-exposed people occupy such a position will only do more harm than good.

“As a patriotic leader, Tinubu will not disappoint Nigerians. On this issue, we are assured that the right person will be appointed to head that important position of the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals.”

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