The Special Adviser to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs. Solape Hammond has described Lagos State as model for cities that are determined to make a meaningful impact on the global efforts towards achieving sustainable development goals.
Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday to commemorate the one year in office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at JJT Park Alausa, Ikeja, Hammond revealed that the Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment (Lagos Global), set up by the present administration as Nigeria’s first Cabinet Level Office on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has evolved in articulating enduring socio-economic policies.
She explained that the office is breaking new grounds in securing increased comfort for Lagosians as it engages the strategy of promoting collaboration between government and other sectors of the society to establish equitable and sustainable development.
Hammond pointed out that in aligning the State Developmental Projects (T.H.E.M.E.S) with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Office is actively engaging all other MDAs of Government to synergise their programmes towards the attainment of all the 17 Global Development Goals.
She pointed out that the office is not only helping investors and the local business community to navigate and evaluate policies relating to the promotion of inward and outward investments in Lagos, but that it has also established a good relationship with Embassies, High Commissions and development Agencies of several countries.
Reeling out the achievements of the office in the past year, the Special Adviser stated that SDG has successfully established Sister-Cities investment relationships with Guangzhou/Guangdong city in China and Brampton City in Canada.
According to her, the participation of the State in strategic international summits such as the Nigeria-Atlanta investment summit in the United States of America, along with Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment and the World Urban Forum (WUF10) held at the National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, UAE has opened Lagos to potential investments.
Hammond revealed that $100m was committed over the next five years by Governor Sanwo-Olu towards ending Open Defecation in the world at the UN General Assembly in 2019 and the Global Citizen event.
“At the World Urban Forum, the International Association for Volunteer Effort pledged to support the Lagos State volunteer initiative by publicising its efforts and programmes to other companies, International NGOs, the media and civil society. Likewise, the Office in partnership with 17 Goals Africa Initiative, successfully launched the Global Goals World Cup (GGWCup), a global soccer tournament for women and adolescent girls that provide a platform for the achievement of the SDGs”, she disclosed.
Speaking further, Hammond confirmed that the Office coordinated a tour of the high-powered delegation from the African Union to inspect Lagos State’s ongoing projects for possible intervention and support, while it is currently engaging some private organisations for investment prospects.
These organisations, according to her, include CIG MOTORS that is poised to establish a complete knockdown factory to assemble and manufacture automobile in Lagos State; ENGIEFENIX LTD that will be manufacturing and supplying renewable energy/solar home systems to rural communities in Lagos State; CITY TAPS which has the prospect of developing modern innovative solution for water supply in Lagos homes; AURERRA INVESTMENT LIMITED that will be establishing Garment Manufacturing Factory at the Lekki Free Trade Zone and BMI COVERLAND, a firm that will be producing roofing products in Lagos State, among other notable companies that have signified interest in the State.
She disclosed that the creation of the Lagos State Volunteer Corps (LSVC) which is a cooperation platform for individuals, corporations, civil society, the diaspora and international partners has captured government’s desire to building positive community relations and establish a sense of affinity among residents.
“The Volunteer Corps has successfully executed some of the government’s projects, including the distribution of palliatives to residents of Lagos State during the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the distribution of breakfast packs to 10,000 Public Primary School Pupils in 32 schools in Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s pilot project- ‘Snacks for Thought’ initiative in Lagos Island”, she declared.
She maintained that some professional volunteers were drafted to support the frontline workers in the execution of minor projects for the Ministry of Health during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, while some are currently helping out with the #MASKUPLAGOS project through the distribution of face masks to the residents across all the 57 LGs and LCDAs of the State, in an effort to curb the menace of community transmission of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
The Special Adviser stated that as the government continues to play significant roles in the attainment of the global goals, Lagosians must be agents of change and responsible participants in the stride towards making Lagos a safe, secure, functional and productive city.