Ms Christine K, the Director of HeinrichBoll Foundation in Nigeria and West Africa, said on Monday in Abuja that Nigeria loses 2.5 billion dollars annually to gas flaring.
She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the huge amount could be used to address some challenges facing the country, including poverty eradication, energy, education and the provision of other basic infrastructure.
``Gas could be converted to generate huge revenue that would help in developing the country and alleviate poverty, especially among most Nigerians who live on two dollars per day. ’’
K said that Nigeria was aiming at becoming a member of G-20 countries in 2020, adding that to achieving the feat, its carbon emission must be reduced.
``If Nigeria wants to belong to that group, its carbon emission must be reduced, it must provide food for the people, create jobs, and generate sufficient energy. ’’
K urged the Federal Government to start planning before its oil deposits diminishes, adding that Nigeria should invest more on agriculture, tourism, solar, and wind energy to create jobs for Nigerians.
``Government must put all these in place rather than waiting and struggling until its oil finished. The oil companies have not created enough jobs or benefits for Nigerians.
``At the international level, after the economic melt-down of 2008, some countries like South Korea and Vietnamstarted consuming ethanol which is green and sustainable.
``Nigeria cannot continue to rely on oil and coal, because coal is yesterday energy source which is emitting high levels of pollution and carbon dioxide, and this call for reorientation.
``Nigeria has a lot of potential that must be tapped including the sun for solar, wind for wind energy and rivers for hydro power. All these will make the country grow.''
The director also urged the Federal Government to tackle corruption at all levels in order to move the nation forward.