In January 2015, leaders of some of the worlds most powerful countries met at a UN conference to discuss “Global Goals”, a set of targets for each of these countries to aim for to improve social inclusion, protect the environment and enable economic growth. Since this initial meeting the project has developed significantly, with the “Global Goals” now called “Sustainable Development Goals”, or SDGs, and are part of the UN’s 2030 Agenda, a detailed plan for sustainable global growth which they aim to achieve by that year. The mission statement of the project is “A blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all people and he world by 2030”, and the UN have outlined 17 SDGs for participating nations to aim for. These goals include reducing poverty, hunger and inequality, improving health care, sustainability, sanitation, peace and education, increasing industry, innovation and infrastructure and producing clean and affordable energy.
Nigeria’s quick move
Nigeria signed up for the initiative immediately, with the country’s leaders acknowledging the importance of these issues and the need to immediately address them. The nation has committed to the improving sustainability through the five Ps, which are people, planet, prosperity peace and partnerships. Nigeria are leaning heavily on technology and innovation, with many businesses increasing their online presence and encouraging customers to use their digital services. Goals 8 and 9 of the SDG plan, which focus on economic growth and innovation, aim to increase the nation’s business through technology and sustainable expansion.
While many businesses are struggling either to sufficiently improve their technology or convince their customers to use their online services, others are thriving. Bookmakers and casinos are examples from an industry which is thriving in this new climate, with many online casinos offering bonuses to attract new customers through companies like oddschecker. In 2020 it was reported that Bet9ja.com was the third most-visited website in Nigeria, which companies in this industry and others will see as proof that expansion through sustainable business expansion through technology is possible.
Retail going online
The retail industry is another that has adapted well to the country’s new ambitions with a huge number of stores increasing their online services. This has been driven by the emergence of online marketplaces like Jumia, which has dominated the online retail market since launching in Nigeria in 2012. They offer electronics, fashion, health and beauty products and even furniture and appliances for the home, making them a one stop shop for Nigerians. Jumia has continuously increased its customer base by offering regular discounts and membership options like Jumia Prime, a subscription service that habitual customers choose to pay to make delivery costs cheaper.
The restaurant industry is another which has adapted quickly to the SDGs and the growing demand for meals to be delivered. Like in many countries around the world, the Nigerian online food ordering industry has grown exponentially over the last few years. Jumia also lead the way in this field, with many restaurants providing food delivery through them. The likes of Glovo, GoFood and Chopnownow also offer similar services and are constantly expanding, with new startup delivery apps being created almost monthly, this another industry which is leading the way in terms of sustainable business expansion.
Room for improvement
Despite the obvious progress in the above sectors, Nigeria still has plenty of room to improve if the nation is to reach its Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Nigeria was the 160th ranked country on the world’s SDG index in 2020, which led to the government having to reaffirm their commitment to the project. However, it must be noted that the government willingly presented its Voluntary National Review, so the intention is certainly there. One of the areas that experts believe Nigeria needs to encourage further growth in is innovating new technology. While the country is strong in terms of transferring technology, it’s important that more innovation is encouraged in terms of creating newer, faster machinery. It is believed that improvement in this area would have positive effects on the manufacturing and production of goods, making it faster but also more sustainable for the planet.