The Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs) has assured Civil Society legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) of its support geared towards the Ogoni land clean up.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Golas, Princess Adejoke Adefulire who was represented by the Secretary of Programme, Dr.Hassan Suleiman gave the assurance in Abuja recently when a delegation from Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) led by the Programme Manager, Kolawale Banwo paid her a courtesy visit in her office.

Middle: Secretary of Program. Dr. Hassan Suleiman, Mrs Lola Oloapa, Head, CGS, Mr Smart Akande, Head Legal. Kolawale Banjo, Program Manager, CISLAC and others in the occasion.

He said that the Ogoni land  Clean-up is an issue that gives cause for concern to any Nigerian adding that government is not relenting in its efforts to ensuring that the issue is addressed head on.

While appreciating the efforts of the civil societies in the country towards advancing the cause of humanity, she enjoined them to interface with relevant ministries and agencies like Health, Budget Office, Petroleum as well as Ministry of Finance to add more impetus in their bid to tackle water pollution as a result of oil spillage in the Niger-Delta.

Also speaking, the Senior Technical Adviser to the SSAP, Dr. Bala Yusuf Yunusa urged CISLAC to be part of the Civil Society Advocacy Group on SDGs which is a multi-stakeholder engagement group to enable push their cause forward, adding that about 55 billion US dollars is needed annually to sufficiently fund the SDGs.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Kolawale Banwo, Progamme Manager of CISLAC said their visit was borne out of the concern in the Ogoni land which has been devastated by oil spillage and to seek for collaboration with OSSAP-SDGs to assist in fast tracking the Ogoni land clean up.

Given their fact finding on the Ogoni land water contamination, he said that overtime, the people of Ogoni land have been faced with water pollution occasioned by the oil exploration by oil companies in the Niger-Delta which has adversely affected aquatic animals (fishes) hence contaminated their source of drinking water as well as rendered their farmlands not fit for agriculture.

He said that their fact finding further revealed that hydrocarbon contamination was found in the water taken from 28 wells at 10 communities adjacent to contaminated sites, adding that the samples were at least 1,000 times higher than the Nigerian drinking water standard noting that urgent measures should be taken to address the situation.

He solicited OSSAP-SDGs intervention to facilitate and catalyze integration of the emergency measures under appropriate goals for developing an actionable framework for Federal, State and local Governments implementation as well as facilitating a Public Private Partnership (PPP) mechanism for providing safe water to affected communities.

In another development, Myk Psymmons Solutions Limited led by the Chief Executive Officer, Simon T. Kave also paid a courtesy visit to the SSAP-SDGs. He said that the purpose of their visit was to seek for partnership and collaboration with OSSAP-SDGs to chart the way forward in pursuits of SDGs 1, 8 and 9 particularly in the translation of global goals to local business.

He announced that Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has executed a Memorandum of Understanding with Myk Psymmons Solutions Limited to design and promote the Multi-stakeholders Platform of Government Citizens Partnership.

He said that the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and  SMEDAN in partnership with Myk  Psymmons Solutions limited were seeking collaboration and partnership with OSSAP-SDGs by way of endorsing the National Partnership Economy Summit scheduled for 13th – 17th May, 2019 in Abuja as well as supporting the development of business solutions for Micro, Small and Medium businesses(MSMEs) across the value chains of Goals 1,8,9 and 17 which will further the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s(WBCSD)Concept of making the Global Goals local Businesses, leading to generation of over four million jobs in the economy.

Responding, The SSAP-SDGs who was also represented by the Secretary of Programme, Dr.Hassan Suleiman said that what Myk Psymmons Solutions Limited is doing, is in tandem with OSSAP-SDGs, adding that their proposal was timely coming at a time the present administration is putting relentless efforts to get people out of poverty noting that the public private participation is key to attaining the SDGs.

While assuring them of OSSAP-SDGs technical support, he said that government will continue to partner with the private sector to achieve the SDGs.

Markus Y.Mangai

For: AD, Information