By Sampson Unamka
An estimated N1.2 trillion yearly is needed by Africa to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations has said.
Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Mr. Ronald Kayanja, made the disclosure at the launch of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Economic Development in Africa Report (EDAR) for 2016.
‘‘Trillions of dollars are needed. It is estimated that Africa will need between $600 billion to $1.2 trillion every year to achieve the goals and most of this money will have to be mobilised locally within countries,” said Kayanja.
He explained that for 16 years, UNCTAD has been releasing the report yearly to raise key issues affecting Africa’s development, adding that the 2030 development agenda will guide global collective action for sustainable development over the next 15 years.
He maintained that the 17 SDGs offer a blueprint on how the global economy, society and the environment should look in 2030 alongside specific actions that will be required at global, regional and national levels.
He, however, hinted that countries this year have just begun the challenging task of implementation.
But to achieve the N1.6 trillion annual SDGs target, Kanya said financing must flow to the sectors and countries that need it most, so that the infrastructure needed to develop sustainability and limit global climate change is available to all.
“The successful actions we will need over the next 15 years, especially in the areas of trade, investment, technology and finance require that we tap the full potential of all actors, promote innovation and correct unsustainable trends.
“There are worrying signs that people in Africa are increasingly unhappy with the state of their countries’ economies,” he said, adding that the global trade slowdown and a lack of productive investment have sharpened the deep divides between those who have benefited from globalisation and those who continue to feel left behind.
“Our message is that the SDGs represent the change we need to restore people’s trust in our economies in Africa. The SDGs represent an enormous opportunity to make our economies work for dignity for all, prosperity for all and a better planet for all,” said Kayanja.
In his report presentation, Director General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), Prof. Akpan Ekpo, advised the country to diversify its economy and depend less on oil.
“From these reports, it means that Nigeria has no choice but to diversify its economy and depend less on oil. If you diversify the economy and industrialise, you make more revenue outside of oil, and when you make more revenue, you can pay your debt because Gross Domestic Product (GDP) does not pay debt, revenue pays debt,” said Ekpo.
GNI boss urges Nigerians to embrace insurance
By Maduka Nweke
Following the spate of disasters ravaging the country, Great Nigeria Insurance Plc has enjoined Nigerians to embrace insurance culture as a way of mitigating disasters that have become a recurrent decimal. The advice is coming on the heels of incessant cases of road accidents and building collapse, especially those under construction, as well as fire outbreaks among others disasters, which have destroyed properties worth millions of naira.
The underwriter, in a statement signed by its Managing Director/CEO, Mrs. Cecilia O. Osipitan, made available to the media, said this is the time Nigerians need to consciously educate themselves on the benefits of taking up an insurance policy.
According to her, there are various insurance products that have been designed to protect lives and properties, noting that the most essential thing is for the insuring public to willingly open their minds in accepting the fact that insurance is a very important aspect of their lives.
The GNI boss added that, “Nigerians have waited too long to recognise and accepting the reality that without insurance, one is like building a house without a foundation and in no time, it could come crashing; and when that happens, you will have to start from the scratch again with even more funds than you initially expended.”
She said, “insurance gives you the promise of a safe and comfortable future. The earlier we disabuse our minds of the old notion that insurance does not work, the better it will be for all of us.”
She attributed the low patronage of insurance in the country to the fact that Nigerians lack the basic insurance knowledge to fully appreciate the benefits inherent in it.
Her words: “There’s a willing suspension of acquiring basic knowledge about insurance products and how they work by majority of Nigerians, which must be dispelled. Experience has shown that an individual who took out one policy or the other in the past but with awry experience along the line was largely due to the inability of perusing their insurance contract or policy as the case may be. Such an individual is capable of giving wrong information or misrepresentation of ideas to would-be customers out there who would have taken one policy or the other.”
Osipitan also identified low awareness as one of the major reasons why a very large percentage of the Nigerian populace is not insuring as they ought to considering the population and the level of commercial activities in the country.
She also emphasised the need to positively influence the perception of the insuring public to engender greater patronage as the negative notion that most people have against the profession is adversely affecting the performance of the industry.