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We want no one left behind over the SGDs’ Agenda – Mrs Egondu Esinwoke-Ogbalor

 By Menidin Egbo


In an effort to shore-up tracking and reporting effort on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at state and other sub-national levels of the society, Mrs Egondu Esinwoke-Ogbalor, Executive Director of Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development (CIEPD), has called for improve effort on local inclusion for realizing the SGDs in Rivers State.

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Mrs Egondu Esinwoke-Ogbalo

 Mrs Esinwoke-Ogbalor spoke with our reporter in Port Harcourt, Rivers capital city, over what local actors and supporters are doing to enhance global sustainable development drive since the global community adopted the SDGs in 2015 in Paris, France.

According to the CIEPD executive director, her organization, a non-governmental platform in Port

Harcourt, and a number of other local groups are advancing partnership effort on realizing the SDGS.

She recalled that a two-day “Hybrid Workshop On SDGs’ Tracking and Reporting’” by Rivers State SDGs Coalition was successfully held over a year ago, as part of local organizing to enhance expanded performance under national effort on the path of realizing the Sustainable Development Goals in the country.

Mrs Esinwoke-Ogbalor told our reporter that she welcomes everyone in Nigeria to be on board the ship of progress to achieve collaborative effort on the Rivers State plank of action on the SDGs. She particularly pointed out the fact that not only the Rivers State SDGs Coalition, but the entire civil society front in the state is required for “gathering together in magnitude” to support the realization of tracking and reporting of SDGs based effort across the State.

Sounding a strong and passionate development worker for today’s fast advancing society, the CIEPD executive director declared that tracking and reporting of Nigeria’s SDGs effort is part of provision for an important oversight role of the civil society sector in “strictly development terms”. She stated: “This is also in the spirit of leaving no one behind, which is a resolution of the Agenda 2030”, one of the declaration that provide inclusive-focused component of the SDGs milieu of achievable targets.

In terms of what local organizations are doing in playing out a veritable oversight role, the development worker posited that “sustained advocacy on the government” forms a focus for civil society groups to ensure increased participation in SDGs based action. This focus, Esinwoke-Ogbalor said, is a reality to be effectively pursued in all the states in Nigeria.

Mrs Esinwoke-Ogbalor expressed delight over commitment shown through self-sacrifice of all

participating local groups in their self funding thrusts, and not “just paying lips services to the issues ofSDGs.”

According to her, the presently expressed spirit of commitment is a witness to the more role and

further work of partner groups which will surely “commend us all to the future” of global development.

Mrs Esinwoke-Ogbalor re-called the early journey of her group’s partnership coalition on the SDGs. She stated that the coalition was part of the results from “Capable learning and sharing meeting”, organized in Asaba in 2018 by Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND). According to her, participants’ in that meeting collectively resolved to mobilize “more like-minded CSOs and stakeholders into collaborative action”, including formation of the Coalition. Regretting that progress of the Coalition had been “very slow in its activities”, she affirmed that members have not, however, “lost focus of its objective”.

Stretching further on the role of civil society on Agenda 2030, Mrs Esinwoke-Ogbalor observed that the need for formation and success of Rivers SGDs Coalition cannot be overemphasized, especially as it remains strongly supported by a policy provision on its conceptualization under the adopted SDGs of 2015 in Paris. She stated that so far, CSOs in Rivers state have been playing important roles accordingly.

Mrs Esinwoke-Ogbalor promised that through their various engagements, civil society groups will

continue to strongly advocate for “ambitious and holistic” endeavours that will cover the wide set of objectives of social, economic and environmental dimensions as related to the achievement of adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Commenting on the need for forging veritable ties for intensifying effort on the SDGs in Nigeria, Mrs Esinwoke-Ogbalor commended the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the SDGs for promptly integrating efforts that drive CSOs’ role of actions within national initiatives. She pointed out that playing that role resulted into facilitating the formation of Coalition of Civil Society Organizations on SDGs and supporting the “active participation of CSOs on the review of National Voluntary Report 2020”.

Mrs Esinwoke-Ogbalor anticipates stronger collaboration strings on the SDGs between the Presidency and members of the citizens’ groups in Nigeria. She declared: “On improving future cooperation, we want to see a forward-looking stance of all, for mutually beneficial results in the country”.

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