Musa Na Allah Sokoto
The indispensability of the environment in driving development and advancement of any given society prompted the 3rd National Colloquium to convene a virtual National Colloquium with the theme “Sustainable Environment as a Critical Enabler of National Development.”
The participants of the colloquium were drawn from all nooks and crannies of Nigeria, over seas and erudite scholars and discussants.
According to the communiqué made available to journalists by the Chairman of the drafting committee, Mr Sammani Idris Kaura, participants agreed during the session, that Sustainability is the paradigm for thinking about the future in which environmental, societal and economic considerations are balanced.
The Communique further elaborated that the desire of every government is to attain higher levels of development that will be of benefit to its citizenry.
“The national development plan is very comprehensive; it involves all aspects of the live of an individual and nation. It includes full-growth and expansion of industries, agriculture, education, social, religious and cultural institutions”. Stated the communique.
Also, in the communique, the ability to harness resources in a sustainable manner for the benefit of the citizens will result in National development.
It explained that government is doing a considerable lot to address environmental challenges, but however there is need to do more as other African countries already have long-term plans for sustainable environment through renewable energy intervention initiatives.
“The Climate change challenges which are already evident, must be integrated in our national development agenda,” the communique mentioned.
It was disclosed that Nigerian government ratified the 2016 Paris Climate change accord as part of measures to surmount the change in climate and its challenges.
“There must be a balance between resources extraction, utilization and environment management to attain sustainable development.” Says the communique.
The called for the Integration of resources utilization and technology for mitigation of environmental impact of resources extraction, was greatly intensified by the communique.
Another key factor to fight climate change based on the communique is the need to promote best environmental practices in our day-to-day activities and integrate elements of environmental sustainability in our programs and projects.
It was also stated that any development that does not impact on both the present and future generations is not considered sustainable.
“The impact of floods experienced in many parts of the country which is due to climate change has significant effect on food security of the country”.
The shrinkage of Lake Chad and desertification has had adverse impact on rural urban migration and security challenges currently experienced in some parts of the country, it added.
The measures taken by the Federal Government to eliminate gas flaring in Nigeria through the National Gas Flare Commercialization Programme (NGFCP) was noted as a key milestone in addressing environmental impact from flaring.
The environmental degradations have resulted in significant social and economic effects leading to involuntary migrations and upsets in demography and resource availability.
The communique appreciates the adoption of green energy solution by some SME’s to overcome the environmental pollution challenges.
It was pointed out that SME’s are drivers of the economy and key sources of pollution, therefore use of low-cost greener sources of energy in their recommendations.
Synergy between political office holders and administrative leaders: the political champions should build support for administrative leadership initiatives for engendering sustainability measures in all development process.
It was recommended that the convener and organizers of the colloquium should consider sustaining the National Colloquium annually, explore other topical issues and involve wider stakeholders for greater impact in the conversations towards deepening Nigeria’s development.