Chris Steven, Abuja
The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has urged the Federal Government to go beyond mere words on transiting from fossil fuels-based economy and put in place the relevant laws to checkmate the activities of the extractive corporations to save the nation’s environments.
This was contained in a statement by Philip Jakpor, the Head, Media and Communication of the organisation, who said the recommendation is coming as Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark the World Environment Day, celebrated June 5 annually.
“To mark the day, ERA/FoEN organised a workshop in Abuja with the theme: Natural Resource Governance: Bridging the Gaps versus Break Free from Fossils. The workshop brought together community-based groups, civil society, the academia, legal experts, the media, and government representatives to brainstorm on oil-induced conflicts and disempowerment of local communities as well as recommendations on the way forward, Jakpor said.
He quoted the ERA/FoEN Executive Director, Godwin Uyi Ojo as saying that the era of sloganeering on preserving the environment is over.
“Nigeria is yet to come up with a new economic pathway that is not dependent on fossil fuels. The significant drop in oil pricing requires an alternative economic blueprint that is envisaged within a post petroleum economy for Nigeria.
There is also the misdirection in policy such as opening discussions with the Russian government on building nuclear power plants here in Nigeria. This, no doubt, is very disturbing.” He said
Ojo according to him, noted that the current administration may have demonstrated willingness to tackle some of the identified issues such as the Ogoni clean-up which was flagged off on June 2, adding that for it not to have given concrete time lines on commencement of the Ogoni cleanup and to deliver on any of the set objectives of the UNEP report is worrisome.
He therefore urged the federal government to demonstrate the political will to the nation’s environment through conscious and deliberate adoption of clean and safe renewables.
Ojo maintained that the option of leave the oil in the soil means taking an alternative pathway to sustainable development that is powered by renewable energy, the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity is non-negotiable for a new world economic order.