In line with the Lagos State Government’s commitment to shared prosperity, the Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment has launched the Lagos SDGs Grant Competition to fund 51 projects across the 167 targets of SDGs in the State.
Speaking at a Press Briefing organised for the launch of the grant at the State House, Ikeja, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs. Solape Hammond described the initiative as a strategy of crowdsourcing innovative ideas that can lead to measurable impact on SDGs and offer smarter, faster ways to make real progress on the Goals and transform the society to a more resilient and purposeful city.
She explained that the State Government is furthering its development commitments by ensuring that critical systems are put in place to stimulate action and participation from all stakeholders from people at the grassroots to the highest levels of government.
The Grant Competition, according to her, was conceived as part of the strategy to mobilise collective action to advance progress on the SDGs through social, economic, and environmental initiatives that are positive, transformative, collaborative and scalable.
This initiative is open to Civil Society Organisations, Social Impact Ventures, Non-Governmental Organisations and Social Entrepreneurs within Lagos State as it will create a broader-based collaboration and amplify the impact of key actors in the SDGs space.
Speaking on the process of application, Solape confirmed that applicants who must have successfully passed eligibility screenings will be required to submit one project idea that addresses one of the 17 Global SDGs with a specific KPI and an estimated number of persons that will be impacted by the project.
“Submitted projects will be reviewed by a project selection committee who will grant interviews to the most promising applicants after which the sum of N5 million each will be awarded to three winning ideas that target each of the SDGs, making a total of 51 projects”, she confirmed.
Hammond remarked that the process is automated to ensure transparency and increase the chances of selecting winning ideas, affirming that the proposed duration of the competition of the selected projects is three months.
While explaining that applicants are expected to apply on the Lagos State Volunteer Corp website (www.lsvc.ng) to take part in the competition, she revealed that the programme will help to mainstream the SDGs and encourage the civic participation of a diverse class of constituents.
In scaling up the State Government’s effort towards creating wealth and employment opportunities, she stated that the Office would be facilitating a franchise system for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operating within the State which will access affordable financial and institutional support.
She maintained that the scheme which is in partnership with Franchiser and Distributor Forum is targeting MSMEs in products manufacturing, services, food and drinks, health and wellness and other personal care services, investors/commercial banks, cooperative societies, media as well as other MSMEs and individuals within the value chains.
Her words: “This pilot scheme is designed to offer 300 MSMEs to the franchise business system by providing digital infrastructure for all Lagos-based franchises available for investment including periodic financing forum for both franchisors and franchisees”.
While noting that the process of application will be made available through all the state government’s official channels of communication, Solape acknowledged that the Office has also initiated some impactful programmes that are targeted at residents while ensuring that no one is left behind in the scheme.
She said as part of the process of institutionalising SDGs in public secondary schools, the Office is facilitating activities that will strengthen students’ capabilities towards becoming core participants in the delivery of the global ambition.
She added that besides the setting up of the SDGs Club in Public Secondary Schools, a manual book on SDGs for Secondary Schools will be launched to enhance teaching and encourage students to play their roles in building a safe, secure and prosperous future.
Speaking on the ongoing SDGs Surprise Mentorship Rounds anchored by the Office, the Special Adviser affirmed that the initiative is critical to the State Government’s ambition of unlocking value-based thinking and connecting the youth to critical assets of leadership in entrepreneurship, public speaking, entertainment, media, politics, agriculture, photography, ICT, Education and other disciplines of human endeavours.
The Special Adviser also commended the media for being a trusted partner in Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s journey to fulfilling the pledge he made to Lagosians, affirming that the role of media is vital to mobilising citizen’s interest by setting agenda on how development initiatives are impacting the lives of the people and humanity.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on SDGs, Mr. Lekan Fatodu and other Development Partners also attended the Press Briefing.