An ecologist, Mr Richard Inyamkume, has advised re-elected President Muhammadu Buhari to implement low carbon economy to transit from a largely fossil fuel driven economy to a circular, clean and sustainable economy by 2023.
Inyamkume, the Executive Director, Ambassadors of Dialogue, Climate and Reintegration, an NGO, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.
“President Buhari will have to usher Nigeria into a `Low Carbon Economy’ that supports transitioning from a largely fossil fuel driven economy to a circular, clean and sustainable economy by 2023.
“A clean economy will translate to having more green jobs, safer cities and sustainable food, as well as power production.
“Nigeria needs to go into aggressive reforestation nationwide, beginning from grassroots to federal levels, so as to address poor vegetation cover that is already threatening extinct species and biodiversity,’’ he said.
The ecologist also urged Buhari to prioritise low and zero carbon emitting industrial and transport systems, as well as energy for domestic use.
“Buhari’s administration ought to be watchful about water and sanitation need sat grassroots, which over time have become issues of crucial importance and national concern.
“If the new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is able to prioritise low carbon initiatives and green growth, it will be winning the wrestling against climate change.
“It will also leave behind the highest ecological legacy for the next generation,’’ he said.
The executive director, who expressed delight over the re-election of Buhari, described his victory at the polls as well deserved.
“May God continue to give him the wisdom and strength to lead and conduct the affairs of our great nation in such a dignified and honourable manner that will take us to the next level.
“We sincerely appreciate the president for his previous commitments towards fighting climate change, environmental degradation and resource depletion.
“This was done through various specialised Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government,’’ he said.
Inyamkume also commended the president’s outstanding roles in collaborating with international institutions and governments towards achieving possible climate change reversal, globally.
“As an ecologist and climate advocate, my main concern is how Nigeria will improve on climate change response approach or strategy that will better serve adaptation needs of its teeming population of over 170 million citizens.
“These people are directly or indirectly at risk of extermination if adequate and prompt care is not taken,’’ he said.
According to him, at the moment, a substantial number of Nigerians have been adversely impacted by climate change mostly women and children.
“With my experience in the northeast region, particularly around the Lake Chad Basin, the magnitude of climate impact on people is intense and exposure is likely to increase in the coming years if nothing is done to support community and individual adaptation capacity.
“It becomes imperative that the new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will continue working to ensure that critical environmental concerns are addressed with utmost seriousness.
“This will guarantee speedy rehabilitation of environmental health services nationwide,’’ he said.