By Fortune Eromosele, Abuja
As Nigeria and the World at large continue to find lasting solutions in declining the adverse effects of global warming and climate change, the federal government has reiterated support in combatting climate change in the country.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen made the declaration during the ‘High-Level Presentation Ceremony of the Climate Clock to Nigeria’, in Abuja.
According to her, Nigeria became the first African country to receive the climate clock, adding that it serves as a reminder to Nigerians and world leaders to act quickly towards resolving issues concerning climate change.
She noted that the federal government is continuously pulling efforts to fight climate change in the country. She also reaffirmed that the federal government is working with the local, national and global climate community towards meeting the set climate target.
In her words: “Climate change is a global issue, impacting different parts of the world and at varying degrees. However, developing countries like Nigeria have less capacity to adapt to climate change impacts. In that order, women and the vulnerable groups have the least capacity to adapt to the impacts. So, when you are looking for the face of climate change- look at the face of the women.
“This is quite evident in our communities in Nigeria, where over 60 percent of the workforce in the agriculture sector are women.
“The impact of climate change in Nigeria is huge. The drying up of Lake chad to 10 percent of its original size has caused undue hardship to the lives in that region. It has adversely affected lives and livelihoods and increased the vulnerability of our young ones to restiveness and militancy.
“Nigeria is losing about 5 kilometers a year to desertification, causing force migration, loss of farmlands, and untold hardship to communities and families. Women and children are most impacted by this hardship.
“Flooding has become a yearly event in Nigeria, I recall news items where mothers have helplessly watched their homes overtaken by flood, farmlands lost and in some cases, like in Akwa Ibom State, a mother struggled to save her toddler from the wave of flood but she lost out to the flood.
“It is, therefore, a great pleasure that today, the Climate Clock is being launched in Nigeria, the first African nation to have it and women are well represented.”
Speaking in the same vein, Founder and Chairman Zoetic Global Ltd., Jerome Ringo, stated that the decision on which African country to present the climate clock was decided in two seconds.
He said that Nigeria and Nigerians have the potentials to create or possibly solve climate change problems; therefore he called on the federal government to show leadership and harness these potentials.
“I recognize that Nigeria is the largest economy on the planet and a lot of innovative youths roam the country. But what really drove me the most about bringing the clock to Nigeria is not where the country is now, but where it is going.
“Nigeria is on a threshold of being the catalyst to begin the movement like no other country in the world. Why, because you suffer the most adverse effects to climate change, it is not the fault of the African people, it is a call to rise and take action towards climate change,” he added.
Also speaking, Chief Executive Officer, Ecologistics Integrated Services Ltd. and African Climate Clock Initiative, ACCI, Dr. Paul Abolo, noted that the presentation of the climate clock is a Strategic approach to creating awareness for climate action.
He said, “The climate clock happens to be one of those strategies through which we need to draw awareness, sensitisation, about climate action. However, we have decided in Nigeria that the presentation of the climate clock has to go through a strategic approach.
“Regularly, a top-down approach is usually adopted but Nigeria said no, we have to adopt a bottom-up approach.
“We adopted an approach whereby this clock will go through a climate champion where our youths, women, will have opportunities to see the clock and understand the imports of the clock; until it gets to the presidency, that is the approach Nigeria has adopted to distribute this clock.”
In her goodwill message, President, Women in Renewable Energy Association, WIRE-A, Chief Mrs. Anita Okuribido, explained that the climate clock is a graphic to demonstrate how quickly the planet is approaching 1.5℃ of global warming, given current emissions trends.
She added that it also shows the amount of carbon dioxide (CO₂) already emitted, and the global warming to date; stressing the need for Nigeria, Africa, and the world to arise to the rising challenges of climate change.
“Climate change is a global issue, impacting different parts of the world at varying degrees. Climate change will be the greatest threat to humanity and global ecosystems in the coming years.
“There is a pressing need to understand and communicate the impacts of this change and make active actionable commitments and contributions to mitigating this crisis. This forms the overarching motivation to Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC),” she stressed.