“The focus cannot just be on what can Nigeria teach others. If it does not practise it itself, there is really much to be done around domestic resource mobilisation.”
Matthias Schmale, UN resident coordinator for Nigeria, during the inauguration in Abuja, urged President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime to do more to sustain Nigeria’s leading position in Africa’s continental trade.
According to him, Nigeria can sustain its lead in mobilising businesses for impact. Although many Nigerians show examples on cross-border trade, the challenge remained barriers of trade.
“First, are there enough legal frameworks, are they adhered to and what sanctions exist? The second big part Nigeria controls is domestic resource mobilisation and finding local solutions to problems,” he stated. “The focus cannot just be on what can Nigeria teach others. If it does not practise it itself, there is really much to be done around domestic resource mobilisation. An aspect of that is tax regimes, there is the need to have honest conversations about who pays taxes; Are people in business fulfilling their tax obligations?”
Mr Schmale explained that if Nigeria “wants to have a thriving economy, you need to invest in the educational system and into health: you cannot generate profit if you do not have a healthy and educated workforce.”
He advised that Nigeria should push for greater hope of an African trade zone, adding that such formed part of the agenda around the continent, where Nigeria could play a big part.
Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, senior special assistant to the president on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), reiterated the regime’s commitment towards encouraging businesses to thrive in Nigeria and Africa at large.
According to her, the 10 principles of the UN-Global Compact are critical and have some relationship with the SDGs directly, indirectly through key performance indicators.
“It is apt to strengthen our collaboration and national development, both in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. We have also recognised the importance of partnership in all of these and the role that each stakeholder must play, to effectively deliver on the UN Global Compact Strategy for Africa,” said Ms Orelope-Adefulire.
She added, “As government, we must create a conducive environment and establish the necessary regional framework structure for partnership that will help us deliver on the SDGs.”
The UN Global Compact principles are centered on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
In his remark, Mr Cui Jianchun, China’s ambassador to Nigeria, canvassed support from the UN in the bid for Nigeria to achieve the set goals.