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Boosting Nigeria’s green economy growth

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By Usman Oladimeji

Nigeria has the capacity to produce 207gw of electricity from solar power.

Under the directive of president Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nigeria has recently formed a committee to monitor and promote green economic projects, showcasing the country’s commitment to addressing Climate Change. This decision highlights the growing awareness of the importance of Environmental Sustainability. Nevertheless, navigating the complexities of implementing climate-friendly policies in a developing nation like Nigeria presents its own set of challenges. Nigeria is grappling with the daunting challenge of shifting towards a Green Economy while still heavily depending on oil. The country needs to find a way to balance Economic Growth with environmental conservation by promoting Renewable Energy industries to diversify the country’s Economy.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reported that Nigeria has the capacity to produce 207 gigawatts of Electricity solely from solar power. Yet, realizing this potential necessitates a significant Investment of approximately $20 billion in the next ten years. Shifting to renewable energy has the potential to generate 330,000 job opportunities, although it also poses a risk of job reductions in the conventional Fossil Fuel sector, which currently provides employment for numerous Nigerians. With a Poverty rate of around 40% as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics, the country needs to guarantee that its green projects do not unfairly impact the impoverished population.

Adopting climate-resilient techniques can improve productivity.

It is imperative for the committee to create fair and comprehensive policies that extend the advantages of Eco-friendly economic programs to every sector of the population. A crucial aspect to address is agriculture, which employs approximately 70% of Nigeria’s workforce. The negative effects of climate change are already evident in decreasing agricultural output due to irregular rainfall and rising temperatures. Adopting climate-resilient agricultural techniques can improve both Productivity and resilience. By implementing these methods, the World Bank suggests that there is potential for a 70% rise in crop yields in certain areas.

Nevertheless, the key lies in providing small-scale farmers – typically the most at risk – with the essential tools and information they need. It is crucial for the committee to operate with transparency and accountability in order to establish credibility and successfully carry out environmental projects. Involving both Civil Society and private businesses in decision-making can further promote accountability and encourage backing for these environmentally-friendly endeavours. Technological advancements are crucial in driving this shift towards Sustainability. Currently, fossil fuels dominate the country’s energy mix, with renewables making up just 0.3% of total energy consumption.

Decreasing cost of solar panels presents a lucrative opportunity.

Hence, it is imperative for the committee to focus on funding renewable energy technologies, energy-saving measures, and sustainable Infrastructure. The decreasing cost of Solar Panels by 89% worldwide in the last ten years presents a lucrative opportunity for Nigeria to explore Solar Energy on a larger scale. Additionally, the Solar Power Naija project in Nigeria aims to bring solar power to 5 million households, potentially generating 250,000 new employment opportunities. Nevertheless, expanding these initiatives necessitates a substantial amount of monetary funding, approximated at $1.6 billion, along with overcoming various technical and regulatory obstacles.

Effective implementation of green economic initiatives relies heavily on raising public consciousness and influencing behaviour. To ensure success, the committee needs to allocate resources towards educational and awareness programs that encourage Sustainable Habits among the population. Recent research conducted by Afrobarometer indicates that a mere 28% of Nigerians have knowledge of climate change and its consequences. Therefore, prioritizing initiatives such as integrating climate change Education into school curricula, launching media promotions, and fostering community involvement is crucial for instigating a shift in attitudes and actions.

Related Article: Government raises green project issuances

Despite facing financial, technical, and institutional obstacles, the committee is working towards implementing effective climate policies. Setting achievable goals and taking a strategic approach to launching eco-friendly projects is crucial. A prime example is Nigeria’s commitment under the Paris Agreement to reduce Greenhouse gas Emissions by 20% unconditionally and 45% conditionally by 2030 through their Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). The committee can make great strides towards a green economy by tapping into Nigeria’s abundant renewable energy resources, implementing fair and inclusive policies, and securing international Climate Finance of around $142 billion in the next ten years, while also enhancing domestic financial systems.


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