Vice President Kashim Shettima has said Nigeria’s huge potentials in digital technology, the outsourcing industry and the clean energy sector will continue to incentivise investments in its energy transition plan and agenda to diversify the economy.
He stated this on Monday when he received Denmark’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy, Mr Dan Jorgensen, on a courtesy visit to the presidential villa.
Shedding light on Nigeria’s climate objectives under the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Vice President noted that investments in digital technology, clean energy and other sectors had become a priority as a result of the dwindling fortunes of the oil economy.
Sen. Shettima said, “We are facing challenges but where there is a will, there is a way. The President is a man imbued with passion, intellect and capacity to lead the nation on the path of prosperity and progress. He really wants to bring a new lease of life to the Nigerian nation because if Nigeria works, Africa works.
“Oil will still be relevant because of its other derivatives for the next decades but as the primary driver of the economy, the role of oil will diminish in the coming years. This is why it is a priority for us to think out of the box to find alternatives. This is why we are looking for investments in digital technology, clean energy and other sectors. We have a lot of opportunities for partnership and collaboration.”
VP Shettima identified the strength of Nigeria’s population as a huge resource for the transformation of Africa, noting that the continent’s transformation could be fast-tracked by green and sustainable energy.
Soliciting the support of the Danish Government and the Global Centre on Adaptation for Africa and Nigeria’s Climate Action, the VP maintained that “once there is sustainable energy, the people of the continent will key into Africa’s development aspirations.
“So, I will solicit your understanding and support to save Africa,” he added, stating that the support of the Centre is necessary to accelerate climate action and fast-track adaptation to solutions, focusing on the most vulnerable people in Africa.
The Vice President commended Denmark for its leading role in global climate action, while soliciting the support of the government of that country.
“With our shared humanity, we are facing real existential threats but we are very proud of Denmark because of its climate consciousness. You are doing well. There is room for us to have a mutually beneficial partnership,” he stated.
VP Shettima further delved into the political instability in parts of West Africa, saying Nigeria has taken a firm position against military coups and to defend the cause of democracy and human rights, noting that “Nigeria is actually the beacon of hope and stability in a turbulent region.”
Earlier, the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy, Jorgensen, expressed his admiration for Nigeria’s leadership and commitment to climate sustainability.
He noted that Nigeria’s leadership role in addressing regional stability and its commitment to a just energy transition present significant opportunities for further collaboration between Denmark and Nigeria.
“We cherish the relationship between Denmark and Nigeria very highly. We are extremely impressed with the agenda of the new administration. You are definitely showing leadership in the way you are facing the challenges of your country,” Jorgensen said.
Emphasising the shared understanding between Denmark and Nigeria on the importance of climate action, he said, “We also share a common understanding that common understanding and climate sustainability is a political question that is not only noble but also working.”
The Danish Minister commended Nigeria’s stability and positive influence in a region often facing challenges. “I also want to commend Nigeria for being a stable country doing a lot of positive difference in a region that is sometimes challenging,” he stated.
Jorgensen drew a stark contrast between Nigeria’s stability and the recent coup experienced in neighboring Niger, saying, “Just six months ago, I visited Niger Republic and we signed a memorandum of understanding with the President; only for a few weeks later, the country experienced a coup.”
Applauding Nigeria’s role in advocating for the restoration of civilian rule in Niger, he said, “We definitely commend Nigeria’s role in trying to put pressure on the coup leaders with regards to reinstating the civilian government”.
He expressed optimism about the future of collaboration between Denmark and Nigeria on energy transition, citing the memorandum of understanding to be signed between the two countries, just as he emphasised the importance of ensuring a just transition in the shift towards renewable energy sources.
“At the core of this is the question of how do we make this a just transition; how do we make sure that the people that are dependent on oil and gas don’t lose their jobs there?” He inquired.
To ensure a just transition, Jorgensen advocated a regular assessment of the needs of vulnerable groups, stressing that “the needs of poor, vulnerable and marginalized groups must be assessed regularly to ensure reliable access to clean energy at affordable prices”.
He implored Vice President Shettima to ensure that the memorandum of understanding is signed to serve as a framework for future collaboration between Denmark and Nigeria on energy transition.
Also speaking, Nigeria’s Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, said the ministry is using messaging to take forward a lot of the initiatives that the government has put on ground.
“When we talk about climate change, we should be responsible enough to keep the preservation of the world for the next generation to benefit from it.
“Climate change is at the very top of our agenda as a government, especially now that Nigeria is at the precipice of being at the very top. We want to see how Nigeria and the Danish government can have cross-collaboration in this regard and also intercultural collaborations,” she said.
Present at the meeting were Amb. Sune Krogstrup, Canadian Ambassador to Nigeria; Amb. Ole Thonke, Understand-Secretary of State; Sandra Sichlau, Private Secretary to the Minister; Mr Ketil Karlsen, Head of Africa Department and Ida Krogh Mikkelsen, Special Adviser, among others.
COP 28: Minister Calls for Urgent Global Action Against Climate Change
Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar has underscored the urgent need for concerted global action to address the pressing challenges of climate change.
The Minister observed while speaking at the ongoing 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Tuggar said that Nigeria is leading the fight against climate change in Africa by setting ambitious and realistic goals.
He said: “Nigeria has ratified its commitments through a Climate Change Act and a National Council on Climate Change (NCCC). Through these, Nigeria set ambitious, albeit realistic, goals, and I am proud to state that we have hit the ground running, transforming our commitments into tangible climate action.”
He emphasized the critical role of collaboration, innovation, and shared responsibility in combating the escalating climate crisis.
Tuggar also posited that “Nigeria is on track to deploy 100 Electric buses, next year with plans to increase to 1,000 E-buses, aiming to become the country with the largest electric mass transit fleet in Africa. This initiative will reduce emissions and indicate my administration’s commitment to catalyzing the market for green project deployments, job creation, and industrialization across critical sectors.”
The Minister while acknowledging the severity of the climate emergency, highlighted the impact of climate change on vulnerable communities and ecosystems across the globe.
He stressed the importance of upholding the principles outlined in the Paris Agreement, emphasizing the need for all nations to commit to ambitious and transparent climate targets.
He also reaffirmed the commitment of Nigeria to its nationally determined contributions, underscoring the nation’s dedication to achieving net-zero emissions by 2060.
Tuggar however called upon the international community to transcend political differences and work collaboratively towards meaningful and immediate climate solutions., expressing a resounding commitment to fostering international cooperation, encouraging innovation, and securing a sustainable future for generations to come.
He highlighted Nigeria’s support for initiatives that advance climate resilience, technology transfer, and capacity-building in developing nations, and emphasized the importance of financial commitments from developed nations to assist developing countries in their transition to low-carbon economies.
This Government Is Focused On Delivering Good Governance To Our Peoole, Says Otti
Abia State Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has reiterated that his government is focused on delivering good governance to the people of the State.
Governor Otti spoke on Monday when he met with a delegation of Bulgarian diplomats led by the Ambassador of Bulgaria to Nigeria, His Excellency, Yanko Yordanov.
In a statement from Kazie Uko, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Otti said that his government was very serious and focused on impacting positively the lives of the people of the state.
“The government we have in Abia State right now is very serious. We are focused on delivering good governance to our people, and good governance speaks to welfare, it speaks to healthcare delivery, it speaks to education, and of course security and economic well-being of the people, and we are single-minded in delivering those to our people,” he said.
Governor Otti, who said that his government was willing to partner with the Bulgarian government, stated that he was impressed with the areas the Bulgarian government had chosen to assist the State.
“I am very happy in the areas that you have chosen to intervene and to support us; food is everything and there’s no important security you will be talking about without talking about food security,” the Governor declared.
According to Governor Otti, Abia is blessed with good vegetation and boasts of agricultural products such as cocoa, oil palm, rubber, cashew, and maize among others.
“We are luckily blessed with good vegetation and naturally, we produce a lot of food. I believe that with improved seedlings and better technology and of course, the training you talked about, there is no better time to come to us than now. We are still at the drawing table,” he enthused.
Dr. Otti, widely acknowledged as the most performing governor among his peers, said his government would welcome a trade partnership with Bulgaria and access to the European market for products from AbiaState.
“I believe that this is the time we should begin to look at it as a serious business. We are happy and we are willing to work with you at any level that you want to make a success out of the land God has blessed us with and all products that can come out of it,” he said, adding that the State would submit itself to superior training and technology.
Earlier, the Bulgarian Ambassador to Nigeria, said the delegation was in the State to seek collaboration with Abia to boost agriculture, trade, education, and human capital development.
“In more concrete terms, the project we wish to bring to your attention will be offering comprehensive understanding about the need to develop, not only economic ties but also the people-to-people exchange,” Yordanov said.
He further explained that the proposed partnership would come with a training support package in agricultural technology and skills.
“Abia State is widely known as a State where all the opportunities exist. This is why my country and private investors desire to collaborate and develop a partnership with Your Excellency,” the Ambassador explained.
In attendance at the meeting with the Governor were some members of the State Executive Council, among whom were the Deputy Governor, Engr Ikechukwu Emetu; Secretary to the State Government, Prof Kenneth Kalu; Commissioner for Trade, Commerce, and Industry, Dr. ChimezieUkaegbu; Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof Monica Ironkwe and Commissioner for Education, Prof Uche Eme-Uche.
There was also the Special Adviser to the Governor on Trade, Commerce, and Industry, Chief Nwaka Inem, and Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Dr. Cliff Agbaeze.
‘COP28: Stop The Wastes, Compete With China On Production, Obi Urges Nigeria
Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 election, has urged Nigeria to compete with China in terms of production rather than delegation size to a specialised meeting of experts.
Obi blasted the waste and inappropriate imitation of a country painstakingly pulling its people out of poverty in a series of tweets on his X handle on Sunday in response to the growing big number of Nigeria delegates to the United Nations, COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Reports from Dubai show that Nigeria equals China with 1411 contingents to the conference, the highest in the global event aside from the host UAE.
But in a satirical response to the size of Nigeria’s contingent Obi said “In a twist of sad irony, let me congratulate the giant of Africa, Nigeria, for matching the great China, with the same number of contingents at the ongoing COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Nigeria’s contingent to COP28 totaled 1411, the same number as the Chinese contingents.
The LP standard bearer noted that While China’s budget for 2024 is about $4 trillion, about $2,860 per head; Nigeria’s budget is about $33 billion, about $165 per head. China has a high Human Development Index, HDI, with a ranking of 79 out of 191 countries measured, and Nigeria has a low HDI, with a ranking of 163 out of 191 countries measured. Nigeria has more people living in ‘Multi-Dimensional’ poverty than China, despite China having seven times our population.
“Most importantly, the vast majority of those in the Nigerian delegation to COP28 are non-relevant civil servants or relations, friends, and hangers-on of high government officials. Most of them hardly understand or have anything to do with Climate Change.
“This huge contingent is at public expense and at a time when most Nigerians can hardly afford food and basic needs as a result of economic hardship. I pray earnestly that a day will come soon enough when we can focus on competing with China on productivity and the miracle of migrating the highest number of its citizens out of poverty over a relatively short time.
“As we have kept emphasising, we must stop waste as an addition to our government and nation. We urgently need to cut the cost of governance and invest in production.
Obi finally stated that “we need to de-emphasise unnecessary ceremony and showmanship as a mode of government behaviour.
“We need to tie spending to necessity and national Priority pointing out that a New Nigeria is possible but we only need to do the reasonable and the necessary.”