The Nigerian government has concluded plans to unveil a carbon tax policy and budgetary system.
Director-General of the National Climate Change Council, (NCCC,) Salisu Dahiru, disclosed this in an interview with State House Correspondents, after he met behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the move was in line with the recently approved Energy Transition Plan, as part of the Climate Change Act.
At a recent meeting in Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the Energy Transition Plan, to be driven by the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC), in accordance with the Climate Change Act 2021.
Explaining further, the Director General said: “A Carbon tax or tax on greenhouse gases come in two broad forms, namely; an emissions tax, which is based on the quantity an entity produces; and a tax on goods or services that are generally greenhouse gas-intensive, such as a carbon tax on gasoline.
“Under the arrangements, the government is expected to set a price which emitters pay for each ton of greenhouse gas emissions. The tax, apart from helping to generate revenue for the government, will encourage consumers to take steps to switch fuels, adopt new technologies and reduce emissions to avoid paying the tax.”
He said the agency sort and obtained approval to initiate key deliverables contained in the Climate Change Act, including establishing a carbon budget for the country
“That is now going to provide allowances for every entity, whether government or private sector, in terms of how much emissions it may be allowed, and exceeding those emissions could also attract penalties.
“What will be the nature of these penalties, these penalties are going to be contained in another deliverable that the Climate Change Act has also requested the council to do.
“That is to develop a framework for a carbon tax system in Nigeria. It will also look at where projects are being implemented in the country.
“These projects are capable of reducing overall carbon or greenhouse gas emissions. The harvest of these emissions reductions are normally contained in what we call an emissions reduction certificate, which can be translated into carbon credit, and then sold to potential buyers within the country and outside.”
He disclosed that the Council also instructed the Secretariat to develop the framework for carbon trading, and also to develop the framework for establishing the climate change fund for Nigeria.
He said the fund will serve as the main source of revenue and inflow of funds that will be used for running of the council as well as to undertake projects that will help Nigeria to fulfil all his obligations under the nationally determined contributions, as well as under the net zero target of 2016.
“The President also endorsed the Council as the Designated National Authority for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the DG, NCCC as the UNFCCC National Focal Point, in line with the Climate Change Act 2021,” he added.
Dahiru noted that even though some of those things have already been mentioned in the Climate Change Act 2021, the council needed to sign off on those activities, to give the Secretariat the go ahead, to start carrying them out. In essence, they include the operationalization of the office itself.
“Because this is a climate change institution, we want to ensure that we comply with all the requirements of climate change compliance, as it is in the act, and also in Nigeria’s obligations under the NDCs,” he said.
On the net zero target, he stated that the institution must reflect its mandate, in terms of its outlook and in terms of the way that it runs its affairs, including where it is going to stay, as the structure should be as green as possible, and also to be a net zero building in terms of the carbon emissions that could be associated with it.
Speaking on gas flaring, the Director General said part of the Council’s mandate is the implementation of the energy transition plan.
“This Energy Transition Plan, which is the first among many African countries, is predicated on the use of natural gas as the transition foil for Nigeria as the transition energy source, and we know that what has been flared is actually natural gas.
“So, we also know that one of the added advantages that the energy transition plan is going to have is to help to close the energy or power or electricity gap that we’re experiencing in the country.
“We are going to use the energy transition plan as the main Launchpad for capturing the gas needed, if you take the population of Nigeria, which is over 200 million, and we are already experiencing shortages in terms of electricity, and utilizing this gas for even domestic use alone is something that is going to be a big positive.
“It will also help to find you know, economic utility or utilization for our abundant natural gas and also to create, you know, the stimulus for industries to also shift from diesel to start the use of natural gas as the main fuel for the generators and for the operations and therefore help to promote economic growth and also create jobs,” he said.
Timothy Choji, Abuja (Voice of Nigeria)
13th February, 2023