Nigeria’s economy can be made more climate-resilient and less carbon-intensive without foregoing growth, argue two new World Bank reports “Toward Climate-Resilient Development in Nigeria” and “Low-Carbon Development Opportunities for Nigeria,” released Monday in Abuja.
The studies, the fruit of a two-year long collaboration between the World Bank and Nigeria seeks to address the challenges posed by climate change to Nigeria.
The reports identify specific technologies and management practices that could be applied to key economic sectors, including agriculture and land use, water resources, oil and gas, power, and transport.
Speaking at the presentation of the reports, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance said, “The 2012 floods in Nigeria were a stark reminder of the vulnerability of our communities, infrastructure and economy to climate-induced natural disasters. “These studies will help inform decision-making across key sectors and levels of governments so that the economy becomes not only more productive but also more climate-resilient.”
The minister said the reports contain a sobering finding: absent actions taken now, the impacts of climate change could hamper Nigeria’s ability to achieve its ambition -set out in Vision 20: 2020- of becoming one of the world’s 20 largest economies by 2020.
Also, the bank’s Country Director, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, stated that “The World Bank is privileged to have a strong partnership with the Government of Nigeria, and I am pleased that our latest collaborative effort takes a close look at climate change and its potential impacts on Nigeria, Africa’s second largest economy.”
In her goodwill message, Jamal Saghir, the World Bank’s Director of Sustainable Development for the Africa Region noted that the good news is that a range of technological and management actions are available and offer promising opportunities to build resilience to climate change into the fabric of the economy, according to the reports.
“Building a climate-resilient, low-carbon economy need not be at odds with growth.”
He added that it would help to assist sound policy-making and better assessment of tradeoffs, as the “reports offer practical examples of win-win actions that Nigeria could consider adopting for achieving lasting development outcomes.”
Toward Climate-Resilient Development in Nigeria proposes ten practical short-term priority actions that could help to address the threats that climate change poses to Vision 20:2020.
These actions include strengthening overall governance for climate action, enhancing agricultural research and extension services, integrating climate into the planning and design of water infrastructure, and promoting sustainable land management practices as part of the Government’s Agriculture Transformation Agenda.
Raffaello Cervigni, Lead Environmental Economist and main author of the reports, warned that “If not addressed in time, climate change will limit Nigeria’s ability to achieve and sustain the goals set out in Vision 20: 2020.
“With concerted climate action, Nigeria can seize opportunities for increased cross-sectoral investments and policy reforms paving the way for climate-resilient, low-carbon growth.”