The United Nations says while it recognises the reforms in Nigeria and other nations, the common global agenda remains the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
UN Deputy Secretary-General, Hajia Amina Mohammed, said this in Abuja during a meeting with Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and the minister of state in the ministry, Amb. Mariam Katagum.
According to her, there should be more coordinating efforts towards the common global agenda of SDGs.
She noted that she has seen Nigeria’s effort in job creation, revenue generation, poverty alleviation and economic growth among others.
“Nigeria is moving in the right direction economically but needs to fast track its movement and scale good strategies for increasing revenues, economic growth,” she said.
Mohammed said the challenges in Nigeria are huge, its population large but described the country’s economy as great with lots of opportunities.
The UN envoy stated that after traveling by train and through various roads in the Northern parts of Nigeria, she discovered that the roads were motorable, although there were ongoing repairs on some of them.
“This is a country that is diverse in nature, ethnicity, religious backgrounds and opportunities. But these are its strengths, not weaknesses.
“And I think the narrative for Nigeria has to change to one that is very much the reality.
“What I saw along the way is really a country that is growing, that is moving in the right direction both economically. Is it fast enough? No. Is it in the right direction? Yes it is.
“And the challenges still remain with security, our social cohesion and social contract between government and the people. But I know that people are working on these issues,” she said.
As a country that has opportunities, she noted that the Federal, State and Local Governments needed to come together to foster changes.
Mohammed commended Nigeria’s quick response to the COVID-19 pandemic and setting up mechanism that allowed it to respond and partner with international communities.
She expressed the hope that Nigeria would receive the first batch of the vaccine next week, thereby assuring equitable distribution of the vaccine.
“We hope that the vaccines will become more available and equitable, so that everyone gets it,” she noted.
Responding, Adebayo appreciated the UN envoy for the image she has given Nigeria in the global arena.
Adebayo said that the Federal Government was working hard to put in place measures to make Nigeria the industrial hub of Africa.
According to the minister, before the end of the first quarter of 2021, there will be a document on the government’s investment policies which is being reviewed.