The Problem Statement
Nigeria’s climate has been changing with a noticeable increase in temperature, variable rainfall; rise in sea level and flooding, drought, and desertification; land degradation; more frequent extreme weather events; affected freshwater resources, and loss of biodiversity. The durations and intensities of rainfall have increased significantly, producing large runoffs and flooding in many places in Nigeria. Rainfall imbalance is projected to continue to increase. The rainfall in southern areas is expected to rise and rising sea levels are expected to worsen flooding and submersion of seaside lands. Droughts have also become a constant in Nigeria, and are expected to continue in Northern Nigeria, arising from a decline in rainfall and a rise in temperature. Lake Chad and other lakes in the country are drying up and at risk of disappearing, the temperature has risen significantly since the 1980s. Climate calculations for the coming decades reveal a significant increase in temperature over all the ecological zones.
The Policy Solution
The Nigerian Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved the adoption of the National Policy on Climate Change and Response Strategy (NPCC-RS), as a National Document for implementing climate activities in the country.
According to the FEC, the nation’s highest decision-making body, the approval is to provide the government with a framework for tackling environmental challenges caused by global changes in the climate, the effect of which, according to the body, has manifested in increased flooding and rise in sea level. Nigeria’s adoption of the policy will enhance her commitment towards the reduction of emission of terrible substances in the environment even as it emerged that gas flaring in the country has been reduced to 8% and will improve further as more gas is sent to generate electricity in upcoming power stations.
NIGAC Constructive Position/Take
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) needs to come up with a policy strategic planning, with an objective subject to mitigation, to ensure an effective national response to the importance and multi-faceted impacts of climate change. The strategic goal of the Nigeria Climate Change Policy Response and Strategy is to foster low- carbon, high growth economic development and build a climate strong society by constantly increasing public awareness and involving private sector participation while addressing the challenges of climate change to also nourish national institutions and mediums like policy advocacy, legislative and economy reforms to establish a suitable and functional framework for climate change control.
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*Prince Omenihu* is a Non-Resident Policy Fellow of the Nigerian Global Affairs Council – A Technology-based and Digital Media-driven Public Policy and Evidence-based Research Think-Tank that always simplifies Government Policy Positions. Prince Omenihu resides in Lagos, Nigeria.