Republic of Benin not aspiring to be part of Nigeria — Onyeama

By Victoria Ojeme and Bernard Ozuanu jnr

The Federal Government has appealed to the developed nations for technology transfer to assist the country to stop gas flaring.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama made the appeal while delivering open the National Conference on Strengthening the Implementation of the Voluntary Principle on Security and Human Rights in Abuja.

Representing the Minister, the Acting Director, International Organization Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Nasir Aminu, said that over the years, the relationship between host communities and extractive sector, particularly the petroleum sector has been frosty due to the problem of pollution of the environment, including water resources, which disrupt the means of livelihood in some communities.

According to him, “The clarion call for stringent mitigation measures for the use of clean energy cannot be overlooked, same way the survival of disadvantaged countries like Nigeria, who rely on fossil fuel for their functional survival and economic development.

Hence, we seek the understanding and cooperation of international community to pulse the bid to defund fossil fuel projects. It is in the light of the foregoing that we implore the developed nations of this association to work in tandem with our professionals in the extractive industry in building capacity for clean energy.

He said, “We are willing to stop gas flaring but we need the technology that will enable us extract and transfer natural gas from source to end users without polluting the atmosphere.

“I therefore, wish to enjoin developed countries to support Nigeria at multilateral fora against the defunding of fossil fuel and gas related financing by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and other International partners and entrepreneurs with investable private resources, as this would be counter productive to our efforts to attain net zero ambition”.

In his remarks, the Co-chair, Nigeria Working Group on the Voluntary Principle on Security and Human Rights, Dr. Joel Bisina said that it is the obligation of government to promote and preserve the wellbeing of its citizens.

He noted that as a responsible entities, corporate enterprises are obligated to protect human rights and support government activities.

Dr. Bisina said that in acknowledgement of this required overriding obligation, the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, expressly states that the security and welfare of the people must be the primary purpose of government.

He said: “Anchored on three core areas, the Voluntary Principle as they are known, mandate businesses to conduct comprehensive risk assessment, define clear human rights complaints relationships that takes into account national laws and international human rights instruments with private security service providers and public security forces deployed to their facilities, while keeping in mind the social political context in which they must conduct their businesses”.

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