The Ministry of Environ-ment andÂ Equitorial Trust Bank (ETB) have formed a strategic alliance to facilitate Nigeriaâ€™s efforts towards accessing international funds for the mitigation of global climate change.
Minister of Environment, Mr. John Odey, announced this on Tuesday at the on-going first-ever three-day international conference on carbon credit opportunities in Nigeria inÂ Abuja, under the sponsorship of the World Bank and ETB.
He said with the institutional intervention of ETB in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Nigeria was on its way to benefiting from the global drive targeted at reducing carbon emissions in the world, especially on the continent.
â€œOur country is in the tropical belt and most exposed to the deleterious effects of climate change. Therefore, we must strive to be part of the movement towards environ-mental sustainability. I am certain that my ministryâ€™s involvement with ETB will facilitate exploration of available global funds for environmental renewal and sustenance,â€ the Minister said.
Odey commended the bank for collaborating with organizations in building capacities and creating awareness on issues pertaining to environmental degradation and the antidotes.
He implored other companies and individuals to be involved in developments around their habitation.
â€œI must single out ETB for recognition over its commit-ment to the regeneration of our environment through partnership with NGOs, firms and individuals who are interested in sustainable development,â€ the Minister said in his keynote address.
Also speaking on the occasion, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment, Dr. (Mrs.) Grace Bent, expressed regret over organizational and individual apathy towards the looming climatic disaster staring humanity in the face.
â€œWe must all wake up to the changes in our climate and be part of the vanguard for the management of the hazardous changes that are creeping in on us. We must be roused from our state of indifference or be faced with calamitous developments of various shapes,â€ she said.
She expressed surprise that most Nigerians were still unaware of issues related to climate change.
In his remarks, the leader of ETB strong delegation to the conference, Mr. Nosa Ebomoyi, General Manager/Zonal Business Director (North), reaffirmed the bankâ€™s resolve to continuously partner individuals and corporate citizens in all areas of sustainable development.
â€œETB has taken the responsibility of being the countryâ€™s Green Bank because of its commitment to environmental healthiness and its sustainability. Our bank is built on partnership that works. Corporate social responsibility is one of the pillars of our vision and mission philosophies,â€ Mr. Ebomoyi said.
He pointed out that ETB has created a special and unprecedented Carbon Credit Department manned by top professionals with Several Years experience in carbon credit administration and management who will drive CDM projects in the country, in addition to other environmentally-friendly initiatives.
Goodwill messages from World Bank Representatives countriesâ€™ delegations, Ambassador of European Representative, Head of United Kingdom Representative, top government functionariesÂ and dignitaries from the private sector dominated the plenary session of the conferenceÂ sponsored by ETB as part of its total support for the environmental coalition.
All the participants at the conference enjoined the Federal Government to come up with a clear-cut policy on climate change and create awareness among the citizenry, pointing out that there was pervasive ignorance currently.
Most of the eminent speakers said there was need to adapt climate change on the various sectors of the Nigerian economy, particularly the commercial deployment of renewable energy sources. Issues of waste management, legal and regulatory frameworks, case studies and CDM projects in Africa equally came up for discussion.
At the end of the conference, it is expected that the way forward for Nigeria would have been charted, considering the quality of participants, scope of interventions and generation of network platforms on green energy, emission control and alternative energy.