By ABUBAKAR YUSUF.
Sustainable Development Goals SDGs is a global body domesticated in developing countries with particular attention to third world countries including Nigeria to mitigate the social ,and infrastructural gap world over.
SDGs under the able leadership of The Senior Special Assistant to the President,Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire who was also one time Deputy Govenor of Lagos State, in the last six years has initiated and sustained the laudable programs of the global body, in line with the UN template of fighting various social stratification in Nigeria with strict consideration and domestication of the 17 goals of the program.
Her ascension was a very crucial period of the SDGs programs, having transited from Millennium Developement Goals MDGs to SDGs in 2015, inline with the global practices after the initial take off period of Five years.
Five years down the line under the current leadership heading towards the historic ‘Decade of Action’ tagged 2020-2030,it had being a big relief to Nigerians from all walks of life, as adequate provision of social services ranging from Health, Education, provision of Pipe Borne Water, Electricity,Rural Roads, including provision of skill acquisition centres, capacity building, trainings and retrainings with rural areas as the main targets of the agency, had improved the lives of ruralites in Nigeria.
This is carried out through a transparent and open process the SDGs has put in place in the course of job biddings,asssessement and award as well as execution of jobs in the agency.
This is also carried out diligently with state actors that involved the 36 states of the federation strictly inline with counterpart funds from various states, as a corrolary to assessing the yearly grants from SDGs to states.
For strict fiscal and budgetary compliance, SDGs does not hesitate to withhold grants to erring states without counterpart contributions, devoid of any affilations,but based on the conditions to assessing the yearly grants.
It also involved strict monitoring of projects awarded by state actors to avoid diversion,non execution or political consideration against the template designed by the UN to reach out to the less privileged in the society.
Its intervention programs that consisted the provision of the 17 goals is also guided purely by public procurement act and procedures inline with the best practices.
The openess and well thought process attracted lawmakers at the National Assembly to channel their constituency projects through the SDGs with assurance of strict compliance interms of projects execution and delivery of item’s to their various constituents/constituencies.
SDGs in Nigeria is not only compliant interms of projects execution,supplies, monitoring and evaluation,but also on record that it’s projects across the country is delivered as at when due, inline with job specifications.
Having imbibed the culture of accountability and transparency in it’s activities,many states without compliance to it’s regulations attract sanctions from non release of yearly funds for state actors and others from SDGs.
Internal dlscipline and control had being the bane of it’s successes in the last six years by the leadership of the SDGs in Nigeria,as it bursted a well crafted fraudulent case that attracted EFCC and the court which confiscated a property worth millions, as proceeds of the sharp practices in SDGs by one of it’s redeployed staff.
This singular action is rare in the public service in Nigeria today,but for a determined leadership and followership,the case of SDGs was able to recover the missing funds.
The action alone is a success story under a patriotic public officer in SDGs,as well as a good omen to be replicated and sustained in the public service.
No doubt the pass mark awarded the leadership of SDGs by the UN and the UNDP came coincidentally towards the recovery of the missing funds that was later recovered through the anti graft agency and the court.
The vote of confidence passed on the leadership of SDGs in Nigeria, under the leadership of Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire by the EFCC and the court of the land, is an assurance that with good leadership,the public service will be the hub of sane practises.
The rare show of good leadeship qualities is not only in administration,but projects citing, supervision, monitoring and execution by SDGs in Nigeria.
Yusuf Is A Public Affairs Analyst, Writes From Abuja