Getting more people out of poverty will require a lot of financial investments, improved access to financial services and provision of better healthcare in accordance with the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Access Bank’s Head, Sustainability, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan said achieving the key points in SDGs would require private-public sector partnerships.
Victor-Laniyan, who spoke on the CNBC Africa’s ‘Closing Bell’, emphasised the need for private and public sector players to collaborate to meet up with the remaining 10 years’ timeline for the implementation of the SDGs.
She said: “Achieving success in implementation requires a lot of financial investment. Research on the estimated cost of eradicating poverty globally pegs it at about $66 billion per year. While the annual investment required to improve infrastructure; that’s clean water, power, transportation, and agriculture could total to about $7 trillion.
That is a substantial amount, the government alone cannot tackle the SDGs at the national level, businesses and private institutions have a key role to play.’’According to her, it is an onerous task that cannot be expected to be borne alone by the public sector.
With Nigeria still navigating an economically crippling pandemic, the path to achieving the SDGs is facing several forms of systemic hindrances and other national threats such as terrorism and increased poverty levels.
This development continues to cause a decline in the growth targeted by the UNs but as experts have expressed, the situation can be steered towards change with increased participation and partnership from various actors from across the private and public sectors.
Victor-Laniyan added: “The private sector can behave differently. Issues around development offer opportunities for private sector organisations that are innovative. Challenges require solutions, and as the private sector, we could provide those solutions.
The private sector can proffer these solutions by innovating appropriately across various SDG areas, such as building sustainable cities, climate-smart agriculture, clean energy, improved healthcare and so on.
All of these require not only the dynamism but also the funding of the private sector working in very close partnership with governments and communities.”
Victor-Laniyan highlighted what businesses stand to gain from a sustainability-driven business approach, stating: “Organisations that use the SDGs as an overarching framework in shaping and communicating their various strategies, goals and activities, obtain the unwritten the social license to operate and this ultimately leads to profitability.”