From Lateef Taiwo
The Campaign For Advancement of Nigeria (CFAN) has passionately debunked and repudiated the recent claims and assertions made by a group of faceless individuals regarding the remarkable stewardship of Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire in her capacity as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). CFAN categorically dismisses these claims as stemming from a place of ignorance, hate and envy.
Barth Osondu, the spokesperson of CFAN, issued a strongly worded statement in response to the unverified and unsubstantiated statements propagated by an anonymous figure named Ogbeni William Odewale, supposedly representing the dubious entity known as the New Nigeria United Forum.
CFAN asserts that these allegations are not only baseless but also serve as a testament to the degree of ignorance and desperation exhibited by the group and its backers. The disjointed nature of their statement further underlines their lack of understanding of the implementation of the SDGs.
In no uncertain terms, CFAN condemns the group’s malicious intent to belittle the outstanding achievements and contributions of Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire in driving the SDGs during her tenure as the Senior Special Assistant to the former President. These accomplishments have garnered recognition both domestically and internationally, with even the United Nations acknowledging her efforts by conferring an SDGs Award on her.
The achievements of Princess Orelope-Adefulire are unequivocally evident. From 2016 to 2023, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs) effectively institutionalized the SDGs in Nigeria through the implementation of strategic initiatives and programs.
Under her leadership, Nigeria conducted independent country-led evaluations of SDG-3 (quality health and well-being for all) and SDG-4 (inclusive education and lifelong learning for all). This groundbreaking endeavor made Nigeria the first country in the Global South to undertake such evaluations, demonstrating the nation’s commitment to evidence-based decision-making and sustainable development.
Furthermore, Princess Orelope-Adefulire played a pivotal role in the global launch of the Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF), a sustainable financing plan that solidifies Nigeria’s dedication to achieving the SDGs.
Her influence extended beyond national boundaries. She spearheaded Nigeria’s sponsorship of United Nations resolution A/77/L.64, which focused on enhancing voluntary national reviews through country-led evaluations. The resolution garnered backing from multiple countries, including Russia, China, Jamaica, Senegal, and South Africa, underscoring Nigeria’s international influence and commitment to robust mechanisms for monitoring SDG progress worldwide.
CFAN underscores that Princess Orelope-Adefulire’s strategic vision, collaborative partnerships, and innovative initiatives have positioned Nigeria as a trailblazer in the implementation of the SDGs. Her leadership extends to the presentation of two Voluntary National Reviews, VNR, the design of a National Implementation Plan for the SDGs, and the creation of the Integrated SDGs Simulation Model (iSDG Model), an analytical and planning tool for the SDGs at the national and sub-national levels.
CFAN firmly rebuts the allegations of the anonymous group and highlights that the beneficiaries of the 300 housing units and associated infrastructures in Borno State, the 120-bed Mother and Child Centres in various locations, and other projects stand as testaments to the tangible impact of Princess Orelope-Adefulire’s endeavors.
“Contrary to the faceless group’s claims, Princess Orelope-Adefulire initiated and constructed 43 Mother and Child Centres across the country. Most of these centers, comprising 10 units of 120-bed facilities and 33 units of 100-bed facilities, have been commissioned and are actively fulfilling their purpose of safeguarding the health and lives of mothers and children. These efforts are complemented by the introduction of 27 units of 80-bed ultra-modern hospitals and 195 units of Primary Healthcare Centres. Notably, OSSAP-SDGs, under her guidance, supplied 7,464 specialized hospital beds to various healthcare facilities nationwide, among other numerous impactful projects.
“The records show that between 2017 and 2022, OSSAP-SDGs, led by Princess Orelope-Adefulire, constructed, rehabilitated, and furnished over 9000 classrooms across the 360 Federal Constituencies, predominantly to support SDG-4 and other interconnected goals. Furthermore, her commitment to youth empowerment, job creation, and poverty alleviation, as embedded in SDGs 1, 2, 8, and 10, led to significant investments in Vocational and Skills Acquisition Centres across the nation, with 66 of such facilities successfully delivered.
“It’s essential to recognize that these monumental investments and strategic projects were undertaken with the intention of expediting the attainment of the SDGs in Nigeria. The achievements of Princess Orelope-Adefulire and her team have been widely reported in the media and have brought honor to Nigeria on various platforms. CFAN noted.
In light of these concrete achievements, CFAN unequivocally dismisses the futile efforts of the faceless group to tarnish Princess Orelope-Adefulire’s accomplishments.