By Adedayo Akinwale and Mercy Apollos in Abuja
The University of Reading, United Kingdom (UK) and the Ministry of Science and Technology have trained the staff of the ministry on green economy to ensure environmental sustainability and stimulation of economic growth.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, while declaring the workshop open, said it was a demonstration of government’s good intention to acquire the basic technical know-how that would set the country on the track towards decoupling environmental development from environmental degradation, seeking scientific, technological and innovative apparatus to aid the country’s developmental agenda.
The minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary Bitrus Nabaso, said that the workshop with the theme: ‘Analysis Workshop for Green Transition’ was aimed at bringing to fore its relevance, considering the global impact of climate change with its attendant environmental degradation.
According to him, “It is an unusual area of discuss in our national life-Green Growth Technology and Capacity Gap Assessment. I call it ‘unsusal’ because as a singular subject; the country has not considered it for national discuss in a manner it will be done today.”
Onu however acknowledged that the federal government had been doing some things which pertains to greening the environment and stimulating economic growth of the nation, such as the introduction and adoption of renewable energy sources and the re-forestation project.
He stated: “I want to really emphasise that the current development in the country is no longer sustainable environmentally; the gradual shrinking/drying up of Lake Chad basin, increase in desert encroachment, loss of our ecosystems, reduced agricultural yields, rising sea levels and floods in the southern parts of the country, the marine erosion and landslides require that something has to be done, and that very urgent too.
“Hence, the need for Green Growth Transition Assessment of available capacity for successful transition in the country. This workshop with this inbuilt intent is quite apt and hopes to set the ball rolling for a better future.”
He noted that this collaborative workshop was most welcome to help expand “our intellectual capacities and frontiers, re-enforcing what we already know and where we ought to know, were appropriate technologies deployed earlier. I hope you will find this gathering useful and effectively utilise the opportunity as offered”.
Earlier, a professor from University of Reading, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, said that the green economy is a smart way of managing the economy in a prosperous and sustainable way.
He added that green economy transition requires the development and deployment of a range of capacities and cultivation of green innovation ecosystem.
Okereke lamented that while lack of or limited capacity is identified as one of the main barriers hindering the transition to green economy in Africa, little effort has been devoted to systematically identifying existing capacity assets and gaps with a view to enabling green growth transition in Africa.