Written by Michael Olugbode
Published on 16th February 2021
Nigeria has achieved 20 per cent reduction in emissions, the Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar has said.
The Minister however said the nation is seeking the support of international agencies and developed countries to achieve the 45 per cent reduction in emissions targeted for Year 2030.
Addressing the press after leading the COP26 President Designate, Alok Sharma and UK High Commissioner, Catriona Laing to a separate meetings with Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, the Minister said “Nigeria commited to 20 per cent reduction in emission by the Year 2020, which we believe we have achieve.
“But the one we are concern about and most importantly is the second reduction of 45 percent and with the help of international agencies and developed countries by the year 2030 that is something we are working on, we will soon meet and see where we are.”
On preparation for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, scheduled to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from 1 to 12 November 2021 under the presidency of the United Kingdom, Abubakar said the meetings of the COP26 President Designate and the UK High Commissioner with the Vice President and Chief of Staff were in that regard.
He said they met with the Vice President and Chief of Staff and in attendance was the Minister of Foreign Affairs “to find out where Nigeria is, where we are headed and our preparation for COP26.
“They also came to find out our expectations, and the issue of energy transition which has a lot to do with business and our nationally determined contribution.”
He said they were told “what Nigeria is doing as regards our preparation. We told them where we are that is the last COP25 in Madrid, Spain, issues left behind , some of the issues Nigeria is interested in getting ratified, some of the issues that are being carried forward to COP26.”
Abubakar said Nigeria also made a position of how they would want the British Government to support in the review of our nationally based contribution.
He said: “They are happy with where we are and they are willing to support Nigeria and they believe Nigeria is doing very well taking into consideration where we find ourselves with the pandemic for we cannot do anything today without the hiccup of the pandemic.
In another development, Nigeria has been advised to take advantage of flood water for improved farming and ranching of livestock.
Speaking in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the Online Regional Training on Flood Monitoring and Forecasting Modelling, Executive Director, Centre for Space Science and Technology Education (CSSTE), Dr. Ganiyu Agbaje,
said the use of new technology would make it easier to predict flood and locate the people who are really affected.
He said with satellite technology flood water can be harnessed for farming, ranching and others.
Agbaje said: “It can be used for farming and even fishing, if you study the way the fish move, there is always migration.
“River Niger for instance is coming from Fouta Djallon and it moves through many countries down to Nigeria. When you know that the flood will take three months or five months for instance, you can use the water to plant rice, or you can gather it into a reservoir that can be use during the dry season.
“If you study the migration of fish, some fishes can be coming from Burkina Faso, maybe their fingerlings. You can gather them, put them in a fish pond here.
“There are so many things that can be done with this, and if you know that certain places are lacking water, you can channel it to those farms that need water.
“Like all these ranches that we have been talking about, that river is coming from the north, why do you need to move your animals.
“If you have a ranch there, when the water is coming, you will channel it and go and store it somewhere to be used.
“You can purify the water and it becomes drinking water, so why are we not using the flood water to make life easier?”
Agbaje said for Nigeria to reach her potentials in agriculture and control destruction from flood, there is the need to accurately forecast and monitor flood.
He said there is also the need to identify flood hotspot areas in order to make a quick flood damage assessment using satellite technology.
He said with Nigeria joining other West African nations to adopt satellite technology in better predicting environmental patterns, this will help to mitigate flood, which has destroyed several million dollars worth of farmlands and property.
He said the training aims to equip participants with skills and requisite tools to enable them to identify flood-hotspot areas in order to make a quick flood damage assessment, identify flood monitoring and forecast model as well as hydrological and hydraulic modeling.
In order to sustain the successes of the project, Agbaje advised governments to further embrace technology for creative solutions and consider stronger laws to control the indiscriminate dumping of refuse which is a major cause of flooding in Africa.
He said: “Human beings are somehow meant to be unruly. So, the society needs to be guided by law, else I can go to your house and just mess it up. If there are no laws to say ‘you cannot dump refuse here’ then everywhere will be messy. We need to abide by the regulations and rules.
“Also, it has been said that the whole of Netherlands is on a flood lane but they use engineering and other means to ensure that they stay afloat most of the time. We have millions of dollars lost every year to flooding in Africa, forcing ECOWAS to make a policy on disaster risk reduction but more has to be done to ensure that the impact is lower in Nigeria and other countries.”
Participants at the workshop were drawn from the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET), Nigerian Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) and the Federal Ministry of Environment.
In their separate goodwill messages, representatives of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said the training is aimed at building the capacity of stakeholders to better utilise satellite technology in providing accurate, timely and easily assessable information to improve the management of the environment.