Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for inviting me to the 50th anniversary celebration of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.
Inclusive and sustainable industrial development has a key role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
It lies at the heart of economic growth and creating decent jobs in Nigeria. l applaud the efforts of MAN in job creation through the advocacy and result-oriented services it provides to its members who drive manufacturing in Nigeria.
But COVID-19 has derailed progress across all 17 SDGs.
In 2020, 124 million people were pushed back into poverty and some 255 million jobs were lost worldwide.
A sustainable recovery must be guided by the SDGs.
The United Nations stands ready to support Nigeria in harnessing industry and making progress towards the Goals.
The UN Global Compact, a special initiative of the Secretary-General dedicated to promoting sustainable business, can be a key partner in this process.
The Global Compact has a Local Network in Nigeria, which will grow in the coming years.
Additionally, as part of the Global Compact’s new Africa Strategy, a Hub will be established in Abuja to support business across the Continent in our joint efforts to achieve the SDGs.
I encourage MAN to engage with the Global Compact in the context of this new Africa Strategy, so business can effectively help move the needle on a sustainable recovery for Nigeria.
Nigeria also stands to benefit greatly from the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, which will improve the quality of goods and services and increase Nigeria’s competitiveness in national and international markets.
MAN’s support will be crucial in ensuring Nigeria takes profit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution by accelerating digital expansion and promoting green industries, while participating in the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa.
Finally, to consume responsibly, we also need to promote sustainable industrial production through circular economy and efficient use of resources to reach zero waste as called for by SDGs 7, 9 and 12 to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
I wish you successful deliberations as we celebrate MAN’s 50th anniversary.