By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA— The Federal Executive Council, FEC, yesterday, approved $47 million for construction of Cameroon-Nigeria border link bridge at Ikot Efiom, even as the government has concluded plans to complete the Kaduna Eastern bypass highway which was awarded in 2002 at the cost of N35 billion.
This was even as the Security Council of the United Nations would be visiting Nigeria in a fortnight in preparation to kick off Nigerian Green Economy policy initiative aimed at reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcity to promote sustainable development without degrading the environment.
FEC also approved the revised National Policy on Environment which was first formulated, in 1991 and last revised in 1999.
It also held a valedictory session for the outgoing Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, who would be leaving Nigeria next week for a job at the United Nations in the United States.
Briefing State House correspondents at the end of yesterday’s meeting, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, who was joined by Information Minister Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the Nigeria-Cameroon link bridge was supported by African Development Bank, ADB.
According to the minister, the project was conceptualized after the judgment of the International Court of Justice, ICJ, that ceded the Bakassi Peninsula to the Republic of Cameroon to boost the relationship between both countries.
Also speaking, Minister of Environment, Mohammed, said the UN would be in the country to take stock of the environmental challenges facing Nigeria.
Mrs. Mohammed was responding to the question of what Nigeria stood to benefit from her position as Deputy Secretary-General at the UN.
She said: “In tangible terms, Nigeria as a member, has signed on many resolutions which should give us those partnerships to bring resources and expertise on development agenda, climate change agenda.
‘’These bring different aspects that will form our priorities. So, if we are looking at the environment framework, we will say that the MDGs that came out of the climate change agreement would look at funding that will look at some of our low emissions project, it could be power, renewable energy.
“If we are talking about transportation, we will be looking at vehicles that are not using diesel, petrol and finding cleaner fuel, also deforestation activities where we can have huge fore station programmes to our economic benefits.
“So being there, you are closer to some of the decision making. We do have some major challenges that are considered of concern to the global village. So, bringing from Nigeria the real issues and some of the solutions that we know better than others, will give, I believe, an edge in trying to bring resolutions to those situations.
“In the next two weeks or so, the UN Security Council should be visiting Nigeria and when it does, we will be showing them exactly what the President has been highlighting and that nexus between poverty, conflict and climate change.
“They will visit the north east and see some of the root causes of our young people being able to drag to a life of terrorism.
“We can talk about health and there is global fund and there are institutions in the UN that will help us to strengthen what is happening on nutrition on children, mortal health and several aspects which can be better coordinated,” she said.