We Will Help Nigeria Out of Recession—UN Reiterates

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By Dipo Olowookere

Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the United Nations in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, has reaffirmed his commitment and that of the United Nations system in the country towards supporting the country’s efforts aimed at addressing current challenges such as the current economic recession and responding to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the North-East.

Mr Kallon made this disclosure during his one-week mission to Lagos State from April 10-14, 2017, where he engaged Lagos State government, the private sector, the media and a few Federal Government parastatals.

He further committed to supporting the government in implementing the recently launched Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

According to him, “I am also aware of the numerous challenges in the middle-belt and in the south of the country.”

“Addressing these challenges”, he noted, “would require a strong partnership between the Federal and State Governments and the United Nations.”

“We need each other’s support and a strong partnership. A Stable North-East is good for business, a prosperous Lagos, is fertile ground for more investment and a stronger Nigeria is good for Africa,” he added.

Mr Kallon, who is also UNDP Nigeria Resident Representative, disclosed that his visit to Lagos afforded him an opportunity to engage with the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and reach out to the private sector in order to explore avenues for enhanced partnership in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in addressing or the crisis in the North-East.

Discussing with Governor Ambode, Mr Kallon observed that “the phenomenal past growth and future growth prospects of Lagos should accrue equitably to all segments of society and all geographic areas of the state.”

“There is need to ensure that the fruits of prosperity in the State are enjoyed by all. There is need to sustainably tame the ocean, pay attention to improving access to basic services while addressing poverty in all its dimensions without leaving anyone behind,” he said.

He noted that the SDGs provided a framework which the State could use to address its development challenges.

“SDGs as a development framework is about national vision, national leadership and national ownership.

“We thus have a clear roadmap for the SDGs mainstreaming process. We should move with speed to begin its implementation bearing in mind that our comparative advantage does not lie in provision of financial resources but rather in technical expertise, cutting edge policy advisory support, institutional capacity building and convening power, bringing together all development actors around the table to discuss topical development issues,” he explained.

Responding, Governor Ambode reiterated the commitment of Lagos State Government to working with the United Nations.

“We are willing and ready to learn from the UN experience and technical expertise,” he said.

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