Delta traditional rulers to partner CSOs to deepen gains of MDGs


Delta Traditional Rulers Council has assured Civil Society Organisations in the state of its support to deepen the gains of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the state.

The Chairman of the Council and the Orodje of Okpe, HRM, Retired  Maj.-Gen. Felix Mujakperuo, stated this in a goodwill message at the third National Conference on the SDGs, and the first SDGs Tournament in Nigeria, organised on Thursday in Asaba.
The three-day conference was organised by the Civil Society Advance Forum of Sustainable Development (CAS2030) with National Conference on Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria.
The conference has its theme: “Localising the SDGs; Harnessing the Impacts of COVID-19 on SDGs Implementation in Africa” and a sub-theme,  “Building Forward Better, The Prospect and Strategies of Achieving the SDGs in the Decade of Action.”
Mujakperuo, represented by the Second Vice Chairman and the Obi of Ubulu Unor, Agbogidi Henry Kikachukwu, said the conference theme was apt, adding that since rural communities remained the most targeted, the royal fathers have very vital roles to play.
According to him, what the CSOs are doing with regards to achieving the SDGs set goals are in line with concerns of the traditional rulers to improve the lots of the rural dwellers.
While commending the CSOs, Mujakperuo, said, ” we have to do all within our powers to work with you to achieve the SDGs goals in the state”.
Also, Mrs Clare Henshaw, Representing United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in a Zoom, lauded the conveners, adding that the UNDP in Nigeria has remained focus in the support to eradicate extreme poverty in the country.
Henshaw noted that in spite of the impact of COVID-19, the CSOs and the partners had remained committed to deliver on the promise of 2023 target.
In a keynote address, Dr Adejoke Orelokpe-Adefulire, Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs also in zoom, assured the conference of government commitment to realising the set goals.
Orelokpe-Adefulire urged the players to remain resolute while urging all hands to be on deck as it would take collective resolve to fight to achieve set goals.
Earlier, the State Director-General, SDGs Directorate, Dr Andy Ilabor, said that despite the ravaging impacts of COVID-19, the state recorded great achievements in the health sector, education, water resources, gender balancing among others.
Ilabor noted that the state government based on the set agenda, provided a budget line and set up relevant structure across the state to drive the programme.
In her remarks, Her Royal Majesty, Obi Mather Dunkwu, the Omu of Okpanam, tasked the organisers on the need to deepen the sensitisation to educate the people more on their rights and privileges.
She cautioned that people should avoid attaching more importance to themselves but have fear of God if they must achieve targeted change and impact the people at the rural communities.
While commending the CSOs, she sued for women to be given more leadership roles in the society, adding that women had capacity to bring transformation and development where men have failed.
The convenor, CAS2030, Amb. Caroline Usikpedo-Oliseowe, in her remarks, said the conference was the third gathering of alliance of civil societies, grassroots organisations, private sectors Ministries, Agencies and Departments working in the field of SDGs in Nigeria.
“This journey started from High-Level Political Forum on SDGs in New York, July 2007 which revealed the need for a more engaging and inclusive platform for CSOs in Nigeria to engage the sustainable development agenda.
“This third national conference is building on the first and second national conference on SDGs for the civil societies and other actors in 2018 and 2019 respectively which is centered on localising the SDGs in the country,” she said.
Usikpedo-Oliseowe noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had hampered the gains of the programme and the world economy and had deepened inequality and domestic violence across the world.
“Recognising this global fundamental challenge, this third national conference on SDGs will focus on tackling global inequalities, relevant for all of the goals  to  achieve a new path for sustainable development after the crisis”.
She expressed the belief that the outcome of the conference would help the government accelerate its actions on the SDGs implementation.
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