BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN
Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, the Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action and Friends of the Earth Nigeria(ERA / FoEN), has called for engagement on the issue of restructuring no matter if it is superfluous or genuine.
He made the call in his welcome address on the occasion of the 10th Annual National Environmental Congress of the ERA / FoEN with the theme ‘Natural Resource Governance and Energy Transition’ held in Benin City on Tuesday.
Dr. Ojo stated that “any process for the restructure of Nigeria must have as its core some basic elements. There is the need to institute the twin ideas of post extractivism and a pragmatic energy transition process as a defining principle of state policy.
“How do we put a stop to the transnational corporations’ impunity in their areas of operations?”
Going further, Dr. Ojo stressed that “Nigeria should embrace solar and an energy democracy that is decentralised and community driven.
“In this way, energy is co-produced and supplied in many grid and off-grid systems that are environmentally friendly and less capital intensive.
“To this end, the World Bank, Africa Development Bank, other financial institutions and national governments must eliminate public finance, incentives in loans and subsidies promoting extractive activities and dirty energy.
“Instead, such divestment should translate to investment in renewable energy research and development, green technology, and the provision of subsidies and zero tariffs for solar equipment and production.”
The ERA / FoEN Executive Director demanded for “access to justice especially on environmental remediation and compensation.”
Dr. Ojo enthused that “a National Basic Income Scheme(NaBIS) for all Nigerians is long overdue.”
In conclusion, he averred that “to ensure social good of society the progressives must bond together and pursue the path of integration rather than fragmentation if we are to achieve the critical mass to unsettle the skewed power balance.”
BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN