The Centre for Climate Change and Development, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Ebonyi State has given cash prizes to three top winners of this year’s essay on climate change.
This is the second year running that the award would be given. The title of this year’s essay is “Climate Change and Nigeria’s Economic Development: A letter to my incoming President.
The candidates whose essays were adjudged the best after a thorough review and assessment by an independent panel of judges received N200,000, N150,000 and N100,000 during an award ceremony event in Abuja organised by the Centre in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Centre.
The winners, Israel Oghenefiro Orere, an undergraduate student of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Lagos,; James Afomare Owan, an Engineering graduate and Promise Okwuchukwu an undergraduate of Law at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, emerged first, second and third best winners, respectively, were among the over 200 entries received by the Centre.
Speaking during the hybrid event, the Director Centre for Climate Change and Development Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Prof Chukwumerije Okereke eulogised the participants in the essay contest for submitting quality essays that encouraged him to opt for an event that would show the winners to both national and international audience.
He said that climate change is not just an environmental problem but a national economic development problem. He said the reason for the second national essay competition is to encourage Nigerian youths to be engaged with climate change and also necessary to alert the incoming President on the economic development implications of climate change for Nigeria and the need for urgent action to tackle the challenge.
He said the CCCD-AEFUNAI will continue to do its best to encourage the Nigerian youths to get involved in articulating and advancing action on climate change.
The Director General of the National Council on Climate Change, Dr. Salisu Dahiru said Nigeria has made several bold commitments on climate change led by President Muhammadu Buhari. According to Dr. Dahiru, the President desires to see Nigeria play its own role in tackling the menace of climate change.
He said he was delighted to see several young people in the audience and said that the NCCC is an inclusive institution that is desired to accommodate different voices including the youth, women and people of disability in tackling climate change.
The DG called the youth to engage on climate change and to engage with the council to pull all efforts together to ensure that climate change is tackled adequately in Nigeria.
Salisu Dahiru, represented by Michael Ivenso who is the head of the Directorate of Energy, Infrastructure and Transportation of the National Council on Climate Change commission also said that climate change is a national emergency that requires everybody to participate.
He said that the DG has asked him to thank all of the youth present or participating and asked him to enjoined the Nigerian youths to work together with the council to build effective responses to climate change.
On his part, the sponsor of the climate change act and a member representing the Ikwuano/Umuahia North/South in the Federal House of Representatives and the former chairman House Committee on Climate Change, Hon. Sam Onuigbo, said that there is a strong interconnection between climate change and economic growth but also that Climate Change action represents an opportunity to build a prosperous sustainable green economy for the country.
Onuigbo said that the Nigerian youth is already championing a vote for climate change and youth awareness is necessary to ensure that climate change remains on the agenda of the incoming administration.
The lawmaker, who was represented by Mr. Nnaemeka Oruh, talked about the need to integrate climate change into the national education curriculum in schools.
He disclosed that he is looking forward to continuing interacting with students and to tell them more about the role legislation can play in tackling climate change.