By Festus Fifen.
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured world Leaders that Nigeria remained committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals SDGS, which he noted underscore the imperative for the collective will towards finding enduring and sustainable solutions to addressing global disparities among nations.
Presenting Nigeria’s Statement at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA71) in New York, on the theme, “Sustainable Development Goals: a Universal Push to Transform the World,” the President restated that “fighting corruption remains a cardinal pillar” of the current administration adding that corruption freezes development and undermines the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and publicity Mr. Femi Adesina made available to BEN Television, The President expressed delight that the anti-corruption campaign has started yielding positive dividends including significant recovery of stolen assets.
President Buhari who assured that Nigeria will continue to call for speedy and unconditional recovery of illicit assets stashed abroad, stressed that “Nigeria supports the development of an international legal framework to enforce anti-corruption measures and strengthen existing international institutions to effectively deal with corrupt practice.
The President also used the Medium to hint that recovered funds are being channeled towards the development of critical infrastructure and the implementation of social inclusion programmes for Nigerians adding that the capacity of government agencies was being strengthened to institutionalize reforms that will ensure transparency and good governance.
While acknowledging that Nigeria is not spared the adverse effects of the current global economic downturn, the President noted that his administration remained undeterred and has embarked on comprehensive diversification reforms by shifting emphasis to non-oil sectors of “mining, agriculture, industrialization, infrastructure development and the creation of the enabling environment for Foreign Direct Investment.”
On Climate Change, President Buhari said that Nigeria is proud to have been part of the process leading to the adoption of the Paris Agreement in December 2015, and supports the African Union initiative on the Great Green Wall to halt desertification. While attributing the drying up of Lake Chad to the negative consequences of Climate Change, he called for global support to raise $14 billion US Dollars being the estimated cost of restoration of the Lake over a five-year plan.
The President said that it was in furtherance of the country’s commitment to environmental sustainability that Nigeria launched the cleanup of Ogoniland, even as he called on development partners and multinationals to contribute to the Ogoniland Restoration Fund.