It was indeed commendable to see Lagos State’s development planners and representatives of Local Governments engaged in discussion on how to raise awareness and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the grassroots level. This was the case on Thursday, 30 March 2017, when the Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget (MEPB) in collaboration with United Kingdom Department for International Development (UK – DFID) and the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) held a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) awareness programme at the Library Auditorium of UNIC, Ikoyi Lagos.
The programme which was the third and the last in the series, included over 100 representatives from Local Government Areas (LGA’s), Local Development Area Council (LCDA’s) and Community Development Committee (CDC) under the Lagos Central Senatorial District. It was aimed at raising awareness of the SDGs and highlighting the need for everyone, including those at the various Local Government Areas, to understand the goals and the targets.
In his opening remarks, the Director of the United Nations Information Centre, Mr. Ronald Kayanja, underscored the importance of the SDGs to development planning for the next fourteen years. According to him, “It is important that we mainstream the global goals into the country’s development plan at the three levels of government: Federal, States and the Local Governments. We all have the responsibilities to localize the goals and ensure that they are deeply rooted in the society.”
The Director, Development Partnership Department (DPD), Mr. Bankole, the Director of Planning, Mr. Akinsanya, who represented the Lagos State Permanent Secretary as well as Mrs. Margaret Fagboyo, Program Officer, Department for International Development, (DFID) and other speakers highlighted the importance of the SDGs awareness programme to the total development of the society as it encourages participation across all levels. They noted that the SDGs would only be achieved if everyone was involved.
The workshop paraded ‘SDGs Champions’ who are members of MEPB previously trained by UNIC, UNDP and DFID in the past. They are to continually educate and work closely in the SDG planning process with those at the area level, achieving a bond between the state and local governments.
The 17 SDGs Champions were decorated with ‘SDGs Wheel’ pins by Mr Kayanja.