By Emeka Nwokocha
The Executive Director of a Warri based nongovernmental organisation (NGO), Development Initiative for Community Impact (DICI), Mrs. Rachael Misan-Ruppee, has called on the leadership of Warri North Local Government Council to show full commitment towards the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across its communities, to minimize social risk and improve the wellbeing of the people.
Misan-Ruppe, made the call yesterday (04/10/2019), at the councils secretariat, Koko, while speaking to the principal officers of the council, during an advocacy session to accelerate implementation and advance localization of SDGs in Delta State.
Misan-Ruppee said that the call was expedient, even as she noted the near absence of activities geared towards promoting SDGs in Warri North Local Government area over time. Continuing, she implored the leadership of the council to take practical steps to activate participation in SDGs through implementation of community based programmes in line with the objectives of SDGs.
Her words: the theme of our advocacy is “Advancing Localization of SDGs in Delta State.” To achieve this, the local government is critical because it is the closest to the people. This is the reason we are here to raise the awareness of SDGs in your constituency. SDGs are designed in a unique way that non-state actors – individuals, local governments, communities, private sectors, CSOs and NGOs, and state actors, can work together to accelerate SDGs implementation. I decided to chose Warri South West and Warri North Local government areas for this advocacy to articulate the SDGs related programmes and projects in their communities, in order to put them in the SDGs map.
Continuing, Misan-Ruppee, said the programme was sponsored by the Foundation for Initiatives in Niger Delta (PIND), noting that the advocacy session would be closely followed by a one-day dialogue forum on the 10th of October where critical issues on how to drive SDGs would be discussed. She added: “after the one day dialogue, there will be a learning session to be held in Warri, to expatiate on the issues presented at the dialogue.”
In his response, the secretary of the council, Engr. Victor German, who stood in for the Executive Chairman of the Warri North LGA, Hon. Aduge Okorodudu, thanked Mrs. Rachael Misan-Ruppe, and the DICI team for the advocacy and exposition on SDGs. He acknowledged the slow pace of SDG related activities and programmes in the council, saying that more commitment would be made to reverse the trend.
“We have noted the vital areas our local government area can make progress in driving the SDGs goals to better the lots of our people. Your advocacy has enlightened us better and we are properly informed about the opportunities we stand to gain as collaborator in the implementation of SDGs programmes and projects in our communities. We will rely on your expertise to develop capacity in the areas we are lagging behind, such as putting mechanism in place to report SDGs activities, building collaboration with state and non-state actors to implement SDGs, creating data and information system, including monitoring and measuring systems for SDGs implementation,” he stated.
German, however identified high cost of transportation as a teething challenge to reaching out to the riverine communities, even as he called on the government to develop the water transport sector to ease movement of persons and goods to the riverine communities.
“Despite the challenges, we are ready to put our initiative to work to achieve SDGs in our communities and we shall partner with DICI to work out a roadmap to accelerate the implementation of SDGs at a large scale,” German added.
In the same vein, Mr. John Ofofo, the council’s desk officer on SDGs, expressed his commitment to promote SDGs in Warri North, saying that coordinated effort to drive full implementation of SDGs would be put in place by the leadership of the council, noting that all hands would be on deck to drive the SDGs.
On the team of DICI were Morgan Smart Development Foundation, LITE-Africa, and Itsekiri Regional Development Council, IRDC.