BY SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri –
The United Nations Information Center (UNIC) in collaboration with the Office of the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has organized a two day training workshop on SDGs for Borno State journalist..
Declaring open the two day training on Monday in maiduguri, The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire tasked Nigerian journalists to be objective in the their reportage and ensure their reports are balanced and accurate.
Ms. Orelope-Adefulire also charged journalists to engage in investigative journalism to ascertain the true position of projects and Programmes of government, especially, as such activities concerns the people in the downtrodden society.
While appreciating the role and support of the the Media Awareness and Information Network (MAIN) for organizing the training workshop, she disclosed that the presidency intends to hold similar training workshop for journalists in the six geo political zones of the country and also establish a network for journalists in SDGs to monitor, educate and inform the general public, particularly, the rural populace on the existence, functions and relevance of SDGs in their communities.
She recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, joined other World Leaders during the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2015 to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development envisions a present and a future that is economically sustainable, socially inclusive and environmentally resilient. This vision is expressed through the framing of the 17 SDGs; 169 targets and 230 Key Performance Indicators. Taken together, the SDGs are a Universal call to action to end poverty, safeguard the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by the year 2030.
“And to make meaningful progress on the SDGs, they must be carefully integrated into national and sub-national policies and plans. And the media must play its role as facilitators and enablers of inclusive and sustainable development. Since the historic adoption of the SDGs, the Nigerian government has continued to demonstrate commitment in the overall implementation of the SDGs, including the timely establishment of institutional frameworks at the national and sub-national levels to guarantee effective implementation of the SDGs.
“Indeed, in the last six years, we have worked closely with the United Nations Development System and our development partners to strengthen SDGs implementation capacity at all levels of governance in Nigeria. Such strategic partnerships and support demonstrate our collective commitment to the transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda.
“The nexus of Journalism and the SDGs places the media at the core of sustainable development – both as contributors and as beneficiaries. Through this capacity building and network of sustainability reporters, the overall outcome will be to enhance skills and knowledge, which will potentially impact on government policies and public awareness, through SDG-based reporting.
“By learning how to monitor specific indicators on SDGs, compelling stories can be developed with a view to strongly influence decision-makers and members of the public,” Adejoke said.
The SSA further explained that as advocacy partners, the media is indeed instrumental in helping to track our progress on the implementation of the SDGs in different capacities: as government; as development partners; as organized private sector; as academia and civil society.
“It is imperative to note that the attainment of the SDGs requires a ‘whole-of-society’ approach, and as such, you must utilise your voices to bring this awareness to the fore”, she urged the journalists.