Chineme Okafor in Abuja
Nigeria should move against the entrenched interest militating against her successful pivot into renewable energy, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has said.
Speaking recently at the inaugural green economy lecture series organised by the Sustainable Energy Practitioners of Nigeria (SEPAN) in Abuja, Saraki said that irrespective of these existing interests, a cleverly pursued consultative process could help begin to change the situation, albeit it could take long.
He noted that Nigeria having signed and recently ratified the agreements in the Paris Conference of Parties (COP), now puts on the laps of the National Assembly, the responsibility of mainstreaming the COP provisions into her national economy through legislative actions.
According to him, this would be undertaken by the National Assembly with a lot of candour and sense of responsibilities.
“The 8th National Assembly has become a part of this journey at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together.
“We may have different stories, but we hold common hopes. We may not be looking in the same direction, but we all want to move in the same direction – towards building a lasting legacy of sustainability for the future of our children and grandchildren,” Saraki said.
He then stated: “The green agenda and GLOBE Nigeria partnership will not only put us head and shoulders above our peers in collaborating on international environmental management best practices, but would also show our commitment in bettering the lives of Nigerians. It will provide a platform for legislation on environment, ecology and sustainable development as a whole.
“However, it will not be an easy one as it is likely to meet the resistance of an entrenched system. This pathway is characterised by steps, changes in resource efficiency and shift in emphasis from the shareholder value to stakeholder value. It is a long term process which will require political leadership, new skills, collaborations, continued innovation, research and investment.”
Saraki who also got honoured at the lecture series for his contributions to Nigeria’s climate change positions and renewable energy, explained that jobs that could be created from the country’s pivot to renewable energy sources are immense.
He said: “Available data shows that Nigeria can generate over three million jobs annually in the renewable energy industry. Why are we not looking in that direction aggressively enough?”
“This is an opportunity for us to create green jobs for our people. The 8th National Assembly working with the cooperation of GLOBE international is seeking to attract the cooperation of lawmakers in Nigeria towards an empirical trajectory of legislative action to create sustainable and alternative sources of energy, while helping to diversify our economy.
“In joining nations such as the United States of America, Japan, China, Indonesia, South Africa; our country’s legislators shall work with all agencies of government to ensure that a sustainable framework is established to produce firm policy programs to promote sustainable forms of energy and improve the quality of life of our people,” he added