Hon. (Prince) Rotimi Agunsoye (ROT)

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WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE CHAIRMAN HOUSE COMMITTEE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS, HON.
(PRINCE) ROTIMI AGUNSOYE, AT THE PUBLIC HEARING ON THE BILL FOR AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FUND, CHARGED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY OF IMPOSING, OPERATING AND MAINTAINING
THE DEVELOPMENT GOALS IN NIGERIA AND FOR OTHER RELATED
MATTERS, HELD ON TUESDAY 29TH JUNE 2021

PROTOCOL

It is my pleasure and that of the entire Members of the House Committee on Sustainable Development Goals to welcome you to this Public Hearing on the Bill for an Act to Establish the Sustainable Development Fund, charged with responsibility of imposing, Operating and Maintaining the Development Goals in Nigeria.

The House of Representatives at its sitting on Tuesday 2nd March, 2021 read the Bill the second time and referred same to the Committee on Sustainable Development Goals for further legislative action.

I therefore most humbly welcome you all to this public hearing to consider this Bill which purports to galvanize the Nigerian state to ensuring steady developmental growth by meeting the stipulated Global Sustainable Development Goals, within the stated period.

May I further emphasize that the House of Representative is geared towards promoting, harnessing and supporting ideals, strategies, Policies and laws fashioned at bringing incremental development to our society and giving our teeming populace the much needed basic needs for their livelihood.

We can not but pledge our commitment to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals with a view to marching along with the global community to ensuring all the goals are met in our dear nation Nigeria, by the year 2030, set as the target.

The Committee therefore resolved to hold this Public Hearing to avail Stakeholders the opportunity to make their inputs on this important and timely Bill.

This proposed Bill seeks to establish the sustainable Development Fund charged with the responsibility of Imposing, Operating and Maintaining the Fund for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria.

The Sustainable Development Fund Bill will enable Nigeria to achieve the three Primary Goals of Sustainable Development in the area of Social Development, Environmental Protection and economic growth in no length of time.

You will agree with me that it is quite possible to achieve the SDGs targets using the vast resources, knowledge and technologies that abound in this country. It is also my strong belief that this proposed Bill is not only a positive signal that we are indeed on course in our drive towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria but also a very timely action.

This bill will promote proper accountability and transparency of SDGs activities, Stakeholder Representation at all level of decision making and Proper allocation of funds for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals in the six geopolitical zones of the country.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, this Bill is a challenge to us to test our commitment to ensuring the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria. There is no doubt a dare need to define a structure and the legal frame work for its efficiency, effectiveness, accountability and sustainability. The Committee will continue to explore all avenues for further partnership, collaboration and cooperation to achieve all the Goals in Nigeria.

The Committee has looked critically into the Bill and I hope the
Stakeholders have perused the Bill and come up with suggestions and inputs that will make the Sustainable Development Fund Bill a reality as soon as possible.

It is however sad to note that Nigeria lacks behind in the much needed data, survey, statistics and an up-to-date population census required and necessary for planning and development. It is imperative now more than ever for the National Population Commission (NPC) to plan to immediately conduct a fresh population census, which has fallen due since the year 2016, ten years after the last census which was conducted in the year 2006. Note further that it would be almost impracticable for the drive towards achieving the SDGs without knowing how many we are; without knowing how many are poor or without an accurate information of our demographic distribution, among others.

Let me leave you with these words, “Nigeria must not be left behind” in the corporate global growth and development. We must all be committed to joining hands together to make our nation a better place.

In the light of this, I welcome you all to this Public Hearing and wish you a successful deliberation.

God bless you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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