President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said his administration launched the Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) to improve funding for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) without increasing public debt in the country.
While speaking on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York, Mr Buhari said despite the COVID-19 challenge and the decline in crude oil prices in the country, his administration aligned all development plans with the SDGs to show its commitment to achieving the targets.
“It is in line with this commitment and with a focus on the National Development Plan (2021-2025) that, the Federal Government of Nigeria, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme, has adopted the INFF as a tool to improve SDGs financing without increasing public debt and contingent liabilities to levels that will be detrimental to economic sustainability,” a statement quoted Mr Buhari to have said.
Mr Buhari explained that his government adopted the INFF with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to increase SDGs funding and accelerate economic sustainability.
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According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the INFFs provide a framework for financing national sustainable development priorities and the SDGs at the country level.
A country’s sustainable development strategy lays out what needs to be financed. It also spells out how the national strategy will be financed and implemented.
Amidst efforts to achieve SDG goals by 2030, many countries have shown renewed interest in national development strategies.
The number of countries with national development plans almost doubled between 2006 and 2016. Yet, most strategies and plans do not have concrete financing plans to fund their implementation, the UN said.
Mr Buhari said: “For Nigeria and indeed Africa as a whole, achieving the SDGs will mean ending poverty and hunger, safeguarding our ecosystem and the planet and ensuring our people live in peace and prosperity by the year 2030.”
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He emphasised that it’s pertinent to state that achieving inclusive, broad-based and sustainable development is a cardinal objective of our administration.
As a result of this, the president said the federal government of Nigeria established a number of ambitious programmes in an attempt to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs in Nigeria.
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“The office of the senior special assistant to the president on SDGs has continued to provide technical leadership in the operations of the SDGs at all levels of governance in Nigeria,” he said.
The president said: “The Integrated National Financing Framework has been developed to map out a much-needed sustainable financing plan for Nigeria to deliver on our commitment to the SDGs and national development aspirations.”
Despite the challenges caused by the sharp drop in the prices of crude oil and the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Buhari said Nigeria has remained resolute in its genuine desire to maintain and grow our economy.
“The 2017-2020 Economic Recovery and Growth Plan; the 2020 Economic Sustainability Plan; the 2021 National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy; and the 2021-2025 National Development Plan are all aligned with the SDGs.
The president assured Nigerians, the international community, development partners and stakeholders behind the INFF that the initiative would be implemented immediately.
In her remarks, Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, described the INFF launch as “a tool to improve SDG financing without increasing public debt and contingent liabilities to levels that will be detrimental to economic sustainability.”
She said the financing strategy is backed by a Medium-Term Revenue Strategy and a Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.
“It is further supported by a clear roadmap and monitoring framework and includes guidance on governance and coordination to provide a holistic approach with the necessary transparency and accountability measures to make this a successful initiative,” the minister said.
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