*Say Nigeria can thrive without oil
Port Harcourt — Women groups and gender activists in the Niger Delta, have charged President Muhammadu Buhari, to lead the transition from fossil fuel to cleaner energy, from the front, to ensure Nigeria’s survival and environmental justice beyond oil.
The groups under the auspices of Just Energy Transition Coalition, who gave the charge in Port Harcourt during the capacity building and skills share workshop, organised by the Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA, said Nigeria can survive and thrive without oil.
The women coalition warned that if Nigeria continues with business as usual, her vulnerability may even increase as other countries aggressively move towards cutting their dependence on oil, while emphasising on the need for the country to seize this period to prepare for world without oil.
The coalition in a communique read by it’s leader, Lolo Fubara Hailsham, also warned that there is a potential for communities to be abandoned with impacts of oil and gas extraction in the transition process like the classic case of Oloibiri.
They resolved that the President needs to put in motion the process for policy realignment in the country’s vision 20 20 20, the Economic Growth and Recovery plan, Nigeria’s Nationally Determine Contribution under the Paris climate accord, as well as the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan 2020.
“We call on the President to personally lead the process of just transition to ensure the survival of Nigeria as an entity and environmental justice.
“The President needs to put in motion the process for policy realignment in the country’s vision 20 20 20, the Economic Growth and Recovery plan, Nigeria’s Nationally Determine Contribution under the Paris climate accord, as well as the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan 2020.
“These plans need to be reviewed to encourage high, inclusive growth and low carbon emission.”
The coalition also explained that transition process was not only about phasing out polluting sectors, but about new jobs, new industries, new skills, new Investments. and the opportunity to create a more equal and resilient economy.
They also called on the Federal Government to establish a gender equity quota for the renewable energy sector, in order to encourage a gender just transition, as well as supporting energy democracy and community ownership of energy infrastructures.
“It is also crucial to build the capacities of female workers, and to ensure an inclusive work environment that provides, for example, childcare services, work-life balance, and family friendly spaces. Other relevant social services include ensuring an income in case of hardship, and giving money back to women who engage in multiple forms of labor.
“Incentivize and support the use of renewable energy by supporting the transformation of the energy systems from the local government level. Provide tax and financial incentives to enable long term acquisition plans for renewable energy.”
Earlier, the Programme Manager of ERA, Port Harcourt Office, Mike Karikpo, explained that the workshop was imperative as it explains how women can be part of the transition from fossil fuel to cleaner energy – the new economy – being that Nigeria is a patriarchal society.