Addressing Environmental, Food Security Challenges In Nigeria
At the just-concluded COP28, Nigeria succeeded in securing substantial amounts in investments towards transiting to green energy.
Nigeria is faced with myriads of challenges but the most glaring is that of environmental injustice, degradation, and food shortages.
This is occasioned by climate change, oil exploration and exploitation, illegal bunkering, illegal mining, perennial flooding, amongst others.
Last week, the National Assembly passed the budget for the 2024 fiscal year, which is christened ‘Budget of Renewed Hope.” The budget was raised from N27.5 trillion presented by President Bola Tinubu on
Wednesday, November 29th to N28.7 trillion.
The Senate also increased the exchange rate from N750 to N800 per dollar while the 1.78mbpd daily oil production, US$77.96 oil benchmark price and GDP growth rate of 3.88% were approved as proposed by the executive arm of government.
Going through the budget statement of the president, there were no specific action plan towards addressing the issues, though during the presentation, President Bola Tinubu had expressed confidence that the
budgetary allocations and directives will set Nigeria on a transformative path towards a sustainable and resilient energy future, fostering economic growth, job creation, and environmental preservation.
During the just-concluded COP28, Nigeria was able to secure substantial amounts and partnerships in investment towards climate change mitigation.
As we journey through 2024, it is expected that the federal government will judiciously utilise these funds and implement programmes that improves the environment.
Such programmes should include; granting
licenses for modular refineries to curb illegal oil bunkering, expanding the clean up of the Niger Delta region beyond Ogoni, providing training and granting more licenses for miners in the north, land reclamation programmes across shoreline communities to reclaim lands and communities lost to ocean surge.
Also, there the need to vigorously implement such programmes as the Great Green Wall and ACReSAL to achieve substantial success in the reforestation efforts as envisioned by the World Bank.
There is also the need to expand these peogrammes beyond the noth and south east to other parts of the country where erosion and deforestation is already taking its toll on the environment and posing threats to lives and homes of local communities.
In the area of food shortages, the decision by Cameroun to release flood waters from the Ladgo Dam in bits that reduced the number of predicted states that suffered flooding this year is a welcome development.
The Federal government must therefore negotiate with the Camerounian government to maintain this stance in the interim and ensure that the dams in Nigeria are rebuilt to reduce the incidents of lost of crop and food stuffs to flooding.
Also, there is need for the federal government to come up with policies that reduce cost of production for such food items as rice and poultry food to make them more affordable.
The Federal Government also needs to open up the borders to break monopoly by importers who are believed to be making life unbearable for the masses, thereby reducing the cost of food stuff.