FG Lacks Commitment to Phase out Fossil Fuel for Cleaner Energy, Says Environmentalist

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

A Port Harcourt, Rivers State-based environmental activist, Friday Nbani, has expressed his observation that the federal government has not shown serious commitment to fully transit from fossil fuel to renewable energy.

Nbani, who is the executive director of Lekeh Development Foundation (LDF), made the observation at the weekend at a workshop organised by the group in partnership with Kebetkache Women Development and Resources Centre for Civil Society Organisations and others on Project Design, Proposal Writing and Project Implementation.

Speaking on the need for the country to be in the same pace with other nations in the transition, Nbani stressed that the Nigerian government is only ready on paper and not in real essence.

According to him, “Nigeria as a country is fully ready for the transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy on the paper on the ground. But what we are lacking is the implementation, so there is an enforcement gap.

“Nigeria is ready to move but the deficiency we are still having is that gap of implementation. There was a time our former president said we were going to end gas flaring and it was a very good new. Those are the things Nigeria has in the paper, but when it gets to 2020, they adjusted the implementation to 2025 and 2030, because there is no modality. That gap is what we are trying to close.

 “Recently, the Lagos State Government announced the ban of single use plastics, same thing with the Abia State Government. This is good, but what have they done to ensure that the ban is implemented?”

Nbani, however, called for “a total phase out of fossil fuel and transit to renewable energy. This is friendly to the environment, friendly to humans, and the outcome is a win-win for human development and plant.

“The government does not have the strong commitment to end fossil fuel. But we will not keep silent, we will keep telling them the benefits of the transition.”

On her part, a facilitator at the workshop, Mrs. Idirunke Olubamise, advised that everybody should be friendly with the environment, adding that the NGOs and CSOs should work in partnership with the government to ensure the transition is achieved in the nearest future.

Also, Olubamise, who is the national coordinator for the Global Environment Facility (GEP), (a small grant programme), with the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), said: “Everybody has in one way or another had a contact with the environment, and that means everybody has a responsibility towards the environment-to keep the environment.”

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