23 December 2013, Abuja – Nigeria can generate 7.5 billion dollars in 15 years if the government can end gas flaring and utilize gas for commercial purposes, Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, has said.
The minister made the statement on Tuesday in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
The agreement provides a framework for keeping average global temperature below two degrees Celsius.
Mohammed said that the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submitted by Nigeria as its contribution to the agreement was aimed at reducing emission by 20 per cent by 2030.
Reduction of emission, the minister noted, could act as catalyst to achieve economic diversification and assist economic restructuring in a way that would facilitate inclusive growth with vast opportunities.
She listed some of the opportunities to include substantial increase in the use of climate smart agriculture through irrigation systems, climate resilient crops and broader Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices.
“Given the climate risks that Nigeria faces, this is the only way in which the government ambitious Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) can be delivered,’’ she said.
Mohammed listed other opportunities to include diversifying the energy mix with emphasis on renewable energy and efficient gas power.
“In particular, we plan to generate around 13GW of off-grid solar power, delivering energy access to the poorest communities in a cheaper, healthier manner with less emission,’’ she said.
The minister also stated that reducing emission would create greener, more resilient and pleasant cities to live in.
“Nigerian cities are now adopting global best practices with low-carbon transport solutions.
“For example, bus rapid transit system is already in operation in Lagos.
“More can be done and will be done to promote urban transit solution that will reduce emissions and unblocks congestion and provide huge stimulant to productivity,’’ she said.
To deliver the agenda for change, Mohammed stressed the need for the nation’s climate plans to “align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).’’
“This is necessary to enable the plan have ambitious, robust and effective approach that will tackle inequality and address the challenges of climate change.’’
According to her, the Paris agreement has created a veritable platform for President Mohammadu Buhari’s bold change agenda with focuses on a new road map with emphasis on green and inclusive growth.