Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state has advised Nigeria government to give issues of climate change and ecological control a priority in any socio-economic master plan that government at all levels may want to undertake, saying growth and development might not be recorded if adequate attention is to given to issues surrounding environment.
Governor Amosun, who jointly spoke with Ibrahim Usman Jibril, the Minister of State for Environment on Wednesday in Abeokuta at the 11th National Council for Environment, declared that Nigeria must begin to factor in ecological control and environmental development in any socio-economic action plan as this will also contribute to holistic growth and development.
He said, “There are records to show that countries that have developed remarkably paid particular attention to the human and environmental implications of their actions. We must learn from the experiences of other nations, economic development pattern has shown that there is a direct link, not just between the environment, but, the way we treat our environment, and socio-economic development.
“One country has always come to my mind. That is, Singapore. In her economic development process, Singapore appreciates the fact that environmental integrity and economic growth are two sides of a coin. Therefore, Singapore, as a matter of deliberate national policy, ensures that all development projects are viewed alongside possible environmental challenges and proffering long-lasting solutions for them right from the planning stage. We do not need a debate on whether Singapore is doing fine.”
Also, Minister of State for Environment, hinted that the Federal Government will soon forward the ratified international treaties and conventions on climate change to the United Nations, having been signed by President Muhammad Buhari last week, just as he noted that efforts are ongoing to woo players in the private sector to help unlock investment opportunities in the environment sector.
The investment opportunities, he said, include repositioning of National Agency for Great Green Wall, effective waste management, watershed management, renewable energy, ecotourism, green bond, among others, adding that the 101 memoranda received for thematic group discussion at the 11th will also help in policy formulation and implementation on climate change and its investment opportunities.
But, Magnus Abe, Senator representing Rivers South at the Senate, warned the country to urgently diversify its economy in the face of renewable energy actions going on all over the world as the value of oil is dropping significantly, hence, every serious country must begin to work towards diversifying its economic base.
He said, “We are approaching different technologies that makes it possible for virtually every country in the world to produce oil, all these will in the end mean that the value of oil is going to drop significantly.
“Where will Nigeria be when oil is no more? Conferences like this that calls attention to alternative sources of bringing up our economy is not only important, but very significant.
“Everything in the environmental sector can make money, waste can become energy, it can be money. Everything around environment can, in sustainable ways, be made to produce wealth for your nation and I believe and I believe this conference will look at all those possibilities.”
RAZAQ AYINLA, Abeokuta