By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA: On September 25, 2015, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, 193 world leaders committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals) and Nigeria in a bid to translate these goals into local businesses for wealth creation, organized the inaugural Partnership Economy Summit Abuja 2021.
The two-day Summit which brought together stakeholders from both public and private sector, had the theme, “Translating Global Goals Into Local Businesses in Nigeria”.
The Special Guest of Honour, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in his opening address at the Summit organised by the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs in collaboration with other agencies, said the Summit is a bold initiative designed to strengthen government existing collaboration under the banner of the Partnership Economy Nigeria (PEN).
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), Otunba Niyi Adebayo, stated that PEN is a socio-economic platform made up of a variety of key stakeholders including the three tiers of government, the private sector and organized civil society, adding that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises [MSMEs] are the backbone of Nigeria’s economy and the platform will support sustainable growth.
The Framework of Partnership Economy Nigeria, guided by the principles of Public Social Private Partnership (PSPP), is being designed, developed and promoted as a multi-layered collaborative socio-economic platform for the government, the business sector and the civil society.
According to the Vice President who is also the Chairman, National Economic Council and Chairman, National Council of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, “Strategic Partnership between the three tiers of government, the private sector and civil society is critical to economic recovery and building a strong and resilient economy”.
He further noted that, although the federal government has put in place laudable policies, positively influencing the lives of people at the grassroots is key, adding also, that the government is working to ensure the impact of her policies are felt in every home, village and hamlet in the country.
While stating that the PEN will create the structure that delivers Lease Operate Pay and Own Scheme (LOPOS) for acquisition and deployment of technology for industrial production by budding MSMEs, he added that it is imperative to build a seamless relationship in today’s Nigeria.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Minister, Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Sen. George Akume, said the Summit focused on the economic fundamentals of Goals 1[No Poverty], 8 [Decent Work and Economic Growth], 9 [Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure], and 17 [Partnerships for the Goals], to build a solid sustainable Partnership Economy Nigeria (PEN).
He added also that PEN is a bold attempt to harmonize with stakeholders on a platform to promote wealth creation, diversification of the economy and generation of several million jobs internally.
“PEN is designed to harmonize the efforts of the three tiers of government towards supporting and facilitating the community based MSMEs”, he said. “This Summit being built on the foundation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aims to consolidate the big idea of working together in the national, state and local government levels”.
In her vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Anthonia Ekpa, recalling the key points at the event, noted that local governance development is important and the Ministry has the responsibility to galvanize everyone from the local level, to ensure that the system works.
“The Ministry going forward will work with stakeholders to put together a more robust framework to achieve all the SDGs”, she noted. “The Ministry cannot not do her responsibility of ensuring that the 17 Goals are achieved”.
While fielding questions from Journalists, she said the Ministry is working to ensure that the sustainability plan of the government is in tandem with the Sustainable Development Goal 17 which hinges on partnership, adding that partnership is important for development especially in the local levels of government.
The event which was widely attended, also had goodwill messages from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation [represented], members of the National Assembly as well as Chairmen of Committees of the National Assembly, the Governors of Ekiti and Lagos states [represented], Ministers, Heads of Agencies, traditional rulers, local government representatives, civil society organizations and a host of others.