Nigeria’s Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor said the country has made a strong statement by the signing of the climate change bill into an act by President Muhammadu Buhari.
She said by the step taken, Nigeria has shown its commitment towards the Paris agreement on climate change.
The Minister made the declaration on Thursday at the weekly ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential communication Team.
She said: “I would like to state that Nigeria has delivered the loudest statement after COP26, by the President signing the climate change bill into an Act and we have shown a very strong commitment.
“So, the next step now under the Ministry of Environment is the implementation of all these commitments and strategies as well as the national plans we have in place.”
Ikeazor used the occasion to encourage Nigerians to also play a role towards providing a sustainable environment.
“For an environment that we can be in harmony with, each and every one of us has to be a part of that sustainable environment that we all dream about. We must implement and accelerate the Great Green Wall project which is basically to review and reverse desertification and land degradation in the Northern part of Nigeria,” she said.
The Minister assured that the Ogoni clean up would be completed, as she also warned those polluting the environment through artisanal refining to stop.
“We must accelerate also, the Ogoni cleanup, to make sure that the remediation is completed in time for the good people of Ogoni but at the same time, we must tackle the issue of artisanal refining because as we are cleaning, some are still polluting the environment and we ask that this must stop, for us to have a clean and decent environment,” she added.
She said the Ministry is already adopting various strategies to help address environmental challenges confronting the country.
“We have come up with strategies for addressing these challenges. These are strategies that we have developed. So in the quest for a green recovery, the Ministry recognizes the need to establish the necessary polity, strategy, policy and financial mechanisms that will enable Nigeria have in place all the appropriate environmental governance structure that we need and at the same time reduce carbon emission and pollution, enhance our energy resources efficiently and also prevent the loss of biodiversity in the ecosystem,” she said.
On the achievements recorded by the Ministry, she said a lot has been done in the area of flood and erosion control.
“For us in the Ministry of Environment, our major achievements have been in the area of flood and erosion control, we have a project being run under the Ministry of Environment, but with the World Bank Assisted programme.
“We have recorded a lot of successes on this and we have been able to install 27 flood early warning systems and we have restored hundreds of erosion sites because the issue of flood has been coming up especially in the Southern part of Nigeria.
“We also have our Great Green Wall initiatives in the North. These initiatives have been helping our rural people to manage their land sustainably and also improve on land degradation,” she said.
Ikeazor said the Nigerian government is working on improving the livelihoods of youths of the Niger-Delta region, in order to move them away from restiveness.
“Government is working on creating alternative livelihood for them so we can move them away from illegal refining and further polluting the environment. For now, we have been able to train about 400 women in agri-business and entrepreneurial skills and also we have got them to form themselves into 20 cooperatives, through which they can be gainfully employed into project sites. We have created about 735 direct jobs and as the cleanup project continues at the complex sites, we will be able to employ a lot more of the youths,” the Minister explained.