September 2015, 193 countries committed to pursuing 17 goals, 169 targets & 230 indicators. February 28, 2017, private sector actors launched the African continent’s first Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) to coordinate public-private partnerships and amplify locally-driven solutions to achieve the goals in Nigeria.
In our last edition (February 16, 2018), we examined Nigeria’s current path to the SDGs, indicating several gaps the private sector, through the instrument of the PSAG, would need to fill if the country is to attain the SDGs by 2030. In this week’s edition, we provide more insight into the activities of the group in Nigeria as a conversation with the secretariat sheds more light on the activities of the group, advocates for the involvement of more organisations and demonstrates how corporate organisations can take leadership on the Global Goals.
Apparently, the first 365 days have been full of interesting activities and new experiences for the PSAG. Some of the group’s achievements include:
- Signing-on a two year tenure driven 15-man board of organisations considered to be industry leaders and more importantly, SDG Champions, leading interventions across the different SDGs within the private sector;
- Forming an alliance between the UNGC (Nigeria) and PSAG to collaborate on mainstreaming the SDGs within the private sector;
- Developing a Standard Reporting Framework for reporting on SDG activities across the private sector in Nigeria. This will be fully adopted post the UNGA in September;
- Developing a post-graduate curriculum to train business leaders and managers to more effectively deliver on the SDG agenda within and without their organisations;
- Currently developing a best Practice BoP Consolidated Implementation Model to scale impact, take advantage of the multiplier effect of the linkages within the goals and give room for more effective delivery of SDG interventions.
Alignment with global PSAG
The activities of PSAG Nigeria are in total alignment with the goals of the global PSAG. As known, PSAG Nigeria aims to bring together all Private Sector organisations in Nigeria to address the common objective of implementing the SDGs in a way that impacts all relevant stakeholders with the aim to scale, impact, report, monitor and evaluate same towards agenda 2030.
The Nigerian PSAG stems from the Global PSAG – UN SDG-F and it is aligned towards mobilizing Private Sector and other stakeholder ownership and adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs. It is positioned to interrelate with UNDP, and other International agencies on the agenda of the Private Sector at achieving the global goals – ‘leaving no one behind’
How far is Nigeria from 2030?
One of the critical objectives of the group is to foster the necessity of reporting in order to record any major success with the attainment of the goals. In the last edition of this publication, it was revealed that data from the World Poverty Clock, February 2018 reflects an increase in poverty rates in Nigeria by 6 people per second.
In contradiction, the PSAG opines that most of the development statistics recorded have either been inadequately capturing the contributions and impact of the private Sector or have completely failed to account for the input of the private sector. According to the group, there is empirical proof that the Private Sector is doing a whole lot towards addressing the attainment of the global goals. Many private companies have entrepreneurship programmes, business and grants funding among other such investments towards addressing poverty. A decent number of people have been lifted out of poverty through these interventions. However, there are no records for this in national reports.
Going by the above, the group is confident to be on a right track even though poverty may not be entirely eradicated overnight. With a firmer force around accountability and reporting, the reported number of those living in extreme poverty would be reduced to a minimal level and the same applies to other goals of the SDGs. With the concerted efforts of the private sector, and the collaboration of government with Multilateral Agencies and international NGOs, the country would reach the goals.
Moreover, with adequate advocacy, prioritization, localizing and partnering towards the SDGs, there is a strong reason to believe that the goals would have been achieved come 2030.
Specific goals for Nigeria?
In the view of the PSAG, while prioritizing is essential, Nigeria’s main concern should focus on localizing the goals. The country needs to ensure that the goals are broken down to understandable and manageable units. By doing this, key stakeholders can easily identify how their actions and inactions contribute towards the attainment of the goals. When the goals are localized, they can now be prioritized for implementation. Besides, all 17 goals are interconnected and are aimed at making the world a better place.
Expanding PSAG in Nigeria
The PSAG has grown and is still growing organically. The seventeen goals have been grouped into ten different clusters which are led by PSAG members. These members have the mandate to deliver PSAG’s objectives and recruit additional organisations that operate within the SDG space they lead. This has brought about a multiplier effect and a significant increase in the PSAG membership.
According to the PSAG, Membership into the group is open to all duly registered private sector companies, Civil Society Organisations, NGOs, Social Enterprises, Academic Institutions, and Business Associations that are credible and trustworthy. Organisations must already be involved in development efforts in any SDG area and be willing to commit time and resources. Also very key to membership is a willingness to sustainability reporting.
PSAG SDG Clusters
In taking the decision to group into clusters, the team considered two options (by industry or by SDGs). This approach reflects an alignment between the industry sectors and the SDGs. Through the cluster groupings, there will be wider collaborative efforts which can be pulled towards each SDG. This will also make impact easier and better to coordinate. It is also important to note that SDGs that impact largely on one another were also grouped.
Cluster 0 –
While the SDGs have been grouped into clusters for more focused attainment, the core objective of the PSAG is to mobilise Private Sector and other stakeholder ownership and adoption of the SDGs.
The group admits that there are indeed some challenges it battles with in delivering on set objectives, such as:
- Significantly low access to funding;
- Very low awareness of the SDGs;
- Inadequate administrative support due to absence of dedicated full-time resources;
Nevertheless, it is working hard and smart to surmount them.
…the Next Five Years
Over the next five years, the PSAG seeks to continue to expand its membership base and target the six geo-political zones in Nigeria to come together through Clusters. The PSAG is committed to creating broad awareness of the SDGs and identify areas of common interest, scale and report on SDG activities in a uniform and accountable manner.
Watch out for full interview on Tuesday, March 6, 2018!