The United Nations and other members of the diplomatic community have restated their commitment to supporting Nigeria in ensuring peace, credibility and inclusion in the upcoming general elections.
This was disclosed in a statement by Oluseyi Soremekun, spokesman for the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Nigeria, on Thursday.
UNIC noted that the commitment was given at the first quarterly briefing of the diplomatic community convened by UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Matthias Schmale at the UN House in Abuja.
Mr Schmale highlighted the importance of peaceful and credible elections to consolidate Nigeria’s democracy and that of the African region. He also expressed concern about fuel, naira scarcity, and violence’s possible adverse effects on the forthcoming elections.
Mr Schmale said INEC had made significant progress in preparing and administering elections, adding that its significance needed to be acknowledged.
“At the same time, INEC is facing some challenges, for instance, around logistics, power supply, employing and deploying the right personnel at the right time,” he stated.
The UN official further expressed concern about some strong statements of intolerance and hate speech across party lines in public space, urging political parties and their candidates to exercise caution and adhere to the terms of the peace accord they had signed.
Speaking on the UN Strategic Development Cooperation Framework signed with the Nigerian government, Mr Schmale said the UN needed to support the government in accelerating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Amongst other transformative initiatives, the importance of domestic resource mobilisation, private sector investment and conducive business environment are critical success factors in moving the needle in achieving greater prosperity for all in Nigeria,” the UN representative noted.
The resident coordinator also reaffirmed the reality of climate change and its impact in Nigeria and called on the international community to support accelerated climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
“Last year’s devastating flood episodes and cholera outbreak have shown that humanitarian crises are not limited to the North-East alone. Therefore, we need to support the government in addressing humanitarian challenges outside the North-East,” he said.
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