The Nigerian government has reiterated its commitment to the Energy Transition Plan of universal access to energy by the year 2030, and zero carbon emission by 2050 to alleviate poverty and improve the nation’s economy.
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Environment Sharon Ikeazor stated this at the 15th National Council on Environment meeting held in Abuja, the Nation’s capital, with the theme “Appraisal of the Emerging Challenges and the opportunities in the Environment Sector: A call for Actions towards the Environment of our Dream”
She said the plan would also help the country inline with the global community to focus on the following five themes towards achieving this target, of Energy access, Energy transitions, Energy action to advance other Sustainable Development Goals SDGs, Capacity building and data, and Finance and investment.
“Nigeria recently participated in the high level dialogue convened by the United Nations Secretary General and this has afforded the Nation a rare opportunity to demonstrate our ambition towards achieving the global goal in this regard.
” Ikeazor said.
The Minister noted that it was imperative to consistently tackle environmental challenges such as climate change, deforestation, desert encroachment, loss of biodiversity, flood, erosion, environmental pollution amongst others.
She explained that the Ministry has developed strategies along the nine priority areas outlined by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, to achieve agriculture and food security to ensure energy sufficiency in Power and Petroleum products through taking targeted actions.
“In fulfilling this mandate, the Ministry is accelerating the implementation of the Ogoni Clean-up through Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project HYPREP.
3 Hectares of polluted land has so far been remediated into arable land suitable for agricultural activities in Ogoniland, currently on-going is the construction of six water supply schemes with a capacity of supplying 2400 cubic meters (m3) of portable water per day to communities across the four Local Government Areas of Ogoniland.
The Ministry is also accelerating the implementation of the Great Green Wall Programme, through its Agency, the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW), which was established principally to reverse land degradation and desertification by supporting local communities in the sustainable management and use of natural resources to reduce poverty, enhance food security and promote sustainable livelihood.
The Agency has cumulatively increased the total average of arable land recovered from a baseline of 90 Hectares in 2019 to 4,792 Hectares by second quarter of 2021.
It has also increased the number of trees Planted from one million and eighty thousand (1,080,000) to five million, six hundred and twelve thousand four hundred (5,612,400).
” Ikeazor stated.
Global environmental Agreement
Ikeazor said the Ministry would ensure adequate compliance with global environmental agreements through transformative strategies to address the adverse effects of pollution in the country.
“According to Ikeazor, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC COP 26 meeting scheduled to hold in Glasgow later this month, will be an opportunity to showcase the country’s achievements and address the Agenda items for discussion that are of immediate importance to Nigeria which include, Mobilising finance to address climate change, Scaling up adaptation by strengthen our ability to adapt to climate change impacts.
In his welcoming address the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Environment, Mr Hassan Musa said the National Council on Environment over the years has been a veritable platform for stakeholders in the Environment sector to critically consider and approve policy direction and focus for the sector.
Mr Musa said the technical Committee in the past two days reviewed all the memos revived from the various stakeholders and made valuable recommendations to the Council for consideration.
The outcome of the technical Committee meeting will be presented by the permanent secretary for deliberation.
“The National Council on Environment is the apex policy making organ on the Environment in Nigeria and meets annually to review the level of implementation of the previous year’s Council decisions and assess the progress of the development in the environment sector.
Considered memorandum submitted by the Federal, States, Local government and other stakeholders on current environmental challenges and proffer solutions for implementation at all levels.
” the Permanent Secretary added.
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Malam, Muhammed Bello said that there is an urgent need to take stock of current environmental issues and evaluate the challenges to ensure sustainable human and social development.
“It is our expectation that the National Council on Environment will provide the policy guidance that will help cushion the negative impact of climate change and adverse environmental conditions while also galvanisizing the citizenry into making the changes necessary to avoid the worst,” he said.
Mr Bello noted that the FCT is determined to ensure that Abuja remains an environmentally friendly city and committed to several initiatives and programmes designed to sustain and improve on this status.
“According to him the FCT have nurtured over 170,000 tree seedlings through our department of parks and recreation to be planted across the FCT and we are also working hard to reduce harmful gas emission especially from motor vehicles on our roads.
”The Minister added.
The event also witnessed the commissioning of a tricycle and a mini bus by a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria.
Speaking on the innovation the Minister of FCT, Malam Bello said the innovation follows President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration in empowering the young people to release their energy.
He said FCT will support to make sure some of the vehicles when properly produced would be deployed to the city.
“Our long term strategy is the use of electric vehicles especially for public transportation and also intensifying our public enlightenment and sensitisation measures to get the citizenry involved in the task of protecting the environment.
” The FCT Minister said.
The group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, said that NNPC, will continue to play a leadership role in the environmental stewardship in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
He noted that the NNPC is mindful of the difficulty of eliminating emissions from its operations, and so a complementary solution requires Carbon Management to achieve Net-zero emission by 2050.
He explained that the cooperation preferred approach is the decarbonisation of its operations through a focused Energy Transition Program, aimed at a low-carbon and climate-resilient Business Pathway.
He said, “The recent enactment of the petroleum Industry Act PIA 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari and the declaration of the Decade of Gas by the government further strengthen our resolve to transform the Corporation into an Integrated Energy Company by incorporating Renewable Energy Technologies and zero-carbon production into our fossil-base business scheme.
The main thrust of this Agenda therefore, is need to reduce operational energy related Greenhouse Gas Emissions to actualize Nigeria’s enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution, NDC, to the Paris Agreement, which aligns with the international target of limiting average global warming to 1.
5 degree Celsius by 2030, and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
He stressed that the NNPC was working towards ending routine flaring of Associated Petroleum Gas, APG and eliminating to the barest minimum fugitive Methane Emission.
The National Coordinator, UNDP Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme, GEF SGP, Mrs.
Ibironke Olubamisi said the UNDP GEF SGP has supported over 170 community projects in over 200 communities in 27 States in Nigeria addressing the different crucial areas of biodiversity, climate change, land degradation, chemicals and international waters.
“As a strong development partner, the GEF Small Grants Programme implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, has continued to support community environmental initiatives, especially in remote communities through Civil Society Organisations.
The National Council on Environment meeting is to make critical assessments and centre discussions on the memoranda presented with a view to realigning with the Green and Circular approaches that will maintain the sustainability of the Nigerian environment.
Nigeria reterates committment to implement Energy Transition Plan