Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahii says the domestication of the Climate Funds office of the Sahel region in Nigeria is a good omen for the country.
The Minister gave his impression on Thursday, at the weekly Ministerial briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team.
He said: “There is a new organisation called the Climate Commission of the Sahel Region with the headquarters in Niamey, Niger Republic and their objectives are closely aligned with the Pan African Great Green Wall but limited to countries within the vicinity of lake Chad.
“These countries are Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroun, etc but other countries that are seeing the advantage of the Commission are now keying into it. One key thing that the President did was that at the last high-level meeting of the Climate Commission of the Sahel Region in Addis Ababa in February, he was able to secure the sitting of the headquarters of the Sahel Climate Fund in Abuja, Nigeria.
“I think that is a major game changer and that means that Abuja will begin to take its pride of place as the centre of climate finance and that is a major achievement of the President.”
Commenting on the current heat wave experienced by citizens, the Minister attributed it to human activities that have impacted the ozone layer
“Human activities have greatly impacted the ozone layer so it has opened up and there is so much heat flowing down. So much gas flaring, so much deforestation and so much dislocation of our biodiversity are all responsible for what we are experiencing. That is why the Nigerian government is taking the adaptation and mitigation policies to see how we can not only live with the problem but live around it within the confines of nature,” Abdullahi stated.
He reiterated the numerous calls on citizens to heed to early warning signals, to avert the dangers of flooding, as he called on authorities concerned not to issue title documents to people wanting to reside in flood-prone areas..
“The Ministry of Environment has what is called early warning sign notices to States. The Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) also does so and we advise particularly States that are flood prone to either move those within the enclave of streams, lakes or rivers to the upland but because of reasons of revenue, some States issue Certificates of Occupancy and Right of Occupancy to settlements within those areas thus exposing such people to the vagaries and challenges of flooding,” he said.
The Minister noted that as part of the government’s support for green projects, it has developed a Sovereign Green Bond.
“In the first instance it was a test case so the volume was very small; just N10 million but later in the second instance we increased it to about N15 million, to see how efficient and practicable the green projects can be supported by the Sovereign Green Bond. So, having seen the successes of the green bond, we have now enlarged the quantum of the next issuance programme with the President’s approval. We are now going to issue the third tranche of about N50 million to support green projects,” he explained.
Dominica Nwabufo (von)