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Nigeria may lose $460bn to climate change

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Nigeria may lose $460bn due to climate change by 2050, if urgent actions are not taken to curb its adverse effects, the new Agora Policy report revealed.

The report titled, “Climate Change and Socio-Economic Development in Nigeria,” also showed that Nigeria had lost $100bn to climate change by 2020.

The report produced with the support of the MacArthur Foundation was presented at a one-day policy conversation tagged ‘Nigeria, Climate Change, and the Green Economy,’ as part of preparation for COP28, in Abuja on Wednesday.

The report also highlights the different channels through which adverse effects of climate change could worsen in Nigeria and further compound the country’s developmental challenges.

It also points out the opportunities for Nigeria to foster rapid economic growth, diversify its energy sources, generate employment for its burgeoning youthful and urbanising populace, and address pervasive poverty and inequality through an equitable energy transition.

Presenting the highlights of the report, the Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development, Prof Chukwumerije Okereke, stated that 25 million Nigerians are at risk of flooding and 630 km2 of land is susceptible to flooding along the Niger-Benue basin in the Niger Delta area.

Okereke said about 357,000 people living in Lagos are exposed to flood and by 2050 3.2 million Lagosions would be exposed to flood

The don noted that the direct estimate of damage and loss of flooding in 2022 is N1.48tn, while the total damage and loss, including indirect ones, due to the flooding is about N2.6tn.

He, however, recommended strengthened national climate policy frameworks, strengthened institutional capacity, adequate climate funding, fair energy transition, public awareness, collaborative approach, and targeted sectoral interventions.

In his welcome address, the Founder of Agora Policy, Waziri Adio, stated that though some individuals, organisations, and government agencies are implementing consequential climate interventions in the country, climate change is yet to get the prominence it deserves in the country.

“Both in official circles and among the populace, climate issues are not seen as really important and urgent. Our national attitude oscillates between denial and indifference.

“Most of our people, including highly-placed government officials, see climate change as other people’s problems or an issue that is only for tree-huggers and environmentalists, or something that should bother only those who have the luxury of not wrestling with hunger and other existential matters,” Adio said.

He said the increasing threats of desertification and gully erosion and others already have deep, negative impacts on food production, food security, food inflation, water, health, productivity, energy, infrastructure, and on the conflicts that continue to multiply partly on account of vanishing natural resources.

He advised that there is a need to act urgently to prevent the effects of climate change before it escalates into a catastrophic situation.

On his part, the Director of Programmes at CJID, Akintunde Babatunde Nigeria’s climate change reality is multifaceted, and there is a need to act on implementing climate change policies.

“We do not lack policies on climate change in Nigeria, we have climate change law, the National Council on Climate Change, the Department of Climate Change at the Ministry of Environment, among others, but our problem is about proper action tailored to address the issues.

“How much can we use to build proper drainages so that it can prevent flooding? How much can we properly use for early warning systems to help with preparations? We need effective implementation of policies and judicious use of financial investment, both by the government and partners, and we need massive awareness by the media,” Babatunde said.

The PUNCH reports that the one-day policy conversation meeting was organised in partnership with the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation, the Cable Newspapers, the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development, Clean Technology Hub, the CCCD, and the Nature News.

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