House Seeks Diversification of Nigeria’s Economy

19 Feb 2013

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Minister of Environment, Mrs Hadiza Mailafiya

By Onwuka Nzeshi

The House of Representatives  Committee on Climate Change has urged the Federal Government to diversify the economy by exploring alternative sources of revenue outside the petroleum sector.

The committee said that with the looming threat by some western countries to cut down on their importation of Nigeria’s  crude oil, it was high time the country began to explore the lucrative  potential of green economy.

The chairman of the committee, Hon. Eziuche Ubani (PDP/Abia), gave the advice Monday when the committee received the new National Policy on Climate Change from the Minister of Environment, Mrs Hadiza Mailafiya, at the National Assembly.

Ubani applauded the development of the policy but  argued that the country could only reap its  benefits  if it was painstakingly  implemented  and all stakeholders fully aware  of  their roles.

The lawmaker said  apart from keeping our environment healthy, the country would also generate revenue  from climate change through afforestation,  carbon tax and  carbon sales.

He said with the policy in place, Nigeria could  invest in renewable energy,  become a net exporter of solar power because of the abundant sunshine in the country.

“Implementation is always the problem of comprehensive documents like this but if well implemented, Nigeria stands to gain a lot. The opportunities are enormous. It may not be immediate but the expanding opportunities are huge.

“We can get carbon zinc which we can exchange for carbon allowance for those who emit to come and buy,” he said.

According to Ubani, Nigeria must not rest on its oars because  the development of the policy was just the first step of a long journey to green economy.

Nigeria, he said, must be prepared  to tackle impacts of climate change on the environment and other  sectors of the economy.

“We need to keep in mind that a policy framework is just but one leg of the tripod that holds national climate change governance system.

“The rest are the institutional framework, as well as broad-based legal framework that specifies responsibilities of the Nigerian State and its agencies to combat adverse climate change and also set up structures to maximize opportunities in climate change,” he stated.

Ubani said going forward, there would be need for  massive awareness campaigns to enable government agencies and  the rest of Nigerians know  what climate change entails, what the government is doing and what is expected of the citizenry.

In the implementation of the policy, Ubani said,  special consideration must be given to coastal  communities whose  environment have been severely impacted by climate change.

Minister of Environment,  Mrs Hadiza Mailafiya, expressed delight on the successful completion of the policy framework and commended the National Assembly for  its roles towards making the document a reality.

Mailafya  assured the lawmakers that the Ministry of Environment would endeavour to carry along the parliament and  implementation agencies  in the execution of the policy.

Tags: Politics, Nigeria, Featured, House, Diversification, Nigeria’s Economy

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