Sahara Group, a non-governmental organization, has unveiled a new initiative tagged: #NigeriaStartsWithMe campaign, aimed at ensuring better life for all Nigerians through smooth implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The 17 SDGs, otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a United Nations-sponsored effort to create a common set of development goals for all communities in every country, with a deadline for attainment of 2030.
The SDGs are a call to action to end poverty, hunger, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
These 17 Goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, while including new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities.
In an interview with State House correspondents in Abuja, Tonye Cole, the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Sahara Group, said the #NigeriaStartsWithMe initiative would rally young people to own major stakes in the transformation of Nigeria by coming up with practical ideas that key into the SDGs.
According to Cole, creativity, capacity, tenacity and resilience of Nigerian youths can make a difference in enhancing development across the nation if adequately harnessed.
He explained that the campaign would challenge and inspire young people to resist activities that relegate them to being mere stooges for selfish individuals/organisations or being hired to perpetrate sundry illegal activities.
He said: “It is designed to create a shift in the nature of ongoing conversation about Nigeria from the clutch of social media trolls to practical solutions that would ignite creativity, innovation and a sense of patriotism in Nigerian youths.”
Cole urged Nigerian youths across the globe to amplify their voices by contributing to the conversation #NigeriaStartsWithMe: How I can help transform Nigeria, using the 17 SDGs as reference point.
He said: “Nigerian youths sometimes spend time on the Social Media to give traction to issues that stoke the embers of hatred and division.
“At Sahara, we believe that the creative energies of our youths should be channeled into causes that can transform Nigeria.”
Cole, therefore, called on Nigerian youths across the world to make a difference by contributing to the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag: #NigeriaStartsWithMe.
According to Cole, those youths desiring to contribute more than “140 characters” that Twitter allows can visit the company’s website, www.sahara-group.com, to send a 150-word article on the subject.
He said: “We earnestly believe the project would reduce anti-Nigeria narrative, promote the adoption of creative developmental projects and encourage an unwavering #NigeriaStartsWithMe disposition amongst more youths.”