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Climate Change Behind Outbreak Of Meningitis – Ngige



By Michael Oche 

At a time the United State announced it is pulling out of the Paris Club Agreement, Nigeria has expressed its full commitment to the Green Initiative saying “Climate change poses the greatest threat to the world especially Africa.”

Addressing world leaders at the 106th session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has blamed the recent outbreak of cerebro-spinal meningitis in the country to the adverse effect of climate change.

Ngige said over 100 death were recorded from the outbreak of the ailment

The minister however told the world gathering that Nigeria is committed to the Green Initiative, “Climate change poses the greatest threat to the world especially Africa.”

He said,  “The adverse effects can be found everywhere in our ecosystem which have manifested in the difficulties associated with the generation of sustainable income, employment opportunities, eradication of poverty and the promotion of better livelihood for the citizenry.

“A manifestation of the adverse climatic condition in my country was the recent outbreak of cerebro-spinal meningitis which resulted in the death of over 1000 people predisposed by the extreme heat waves which assisted an uncontrollable meningitides bacteria multiplication.

“We therefore cannot but agree with the Director-General, that mitigation of climate change is the most paramount element in shaping the present state and future condition of work.

“Nigeria is a signatory to the Paris Agreement since the 71st United Nations General Assembly (UNGA71) and shall continue to contribute to the implementation of the initiative. Indeed combating climate change is one of the cardinal objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari led administration in Nigeria. The administration’s commitment to fighting climate change is crystallised in the increasing and substantial budgetary allocations to this sector over the last two years.”

He said even before the Paris Agreement of 2015, Nigeria has put in place various measures to tackle the challenges of climate change. For example, a roadmap was developed to exit gas flaring in the country by year 2020 and accelerated actions have been taken to reduce desertification through the National Agency for Great Green Wall (NAGGW). Machineries have also been put in place to tackle flooding and cleaning up of oil pollution in the Niger Delta region in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

We remain committed to the pursuit of an African continent built on security, inclusive growth and sustainable development through Africa’s Agenda 2063. Our challenge however, is to attract the required resources to finance a recurring deficit national budget occasioned by the volatilities in the global oil market and insurgency especially in the North East of Nigeria. In this light, the assistance of the international community will be very critical.