Green growth is a recent global phenomenon and much lauded pathway for achieving economic diversification, climate resilience, and sustainable development in Africa.
It was the crux of discussion at the collaborative workshop convened by the Ministry of Science and Technology in collaboration with the University of Reading, United Kingdom (UK) in Abuja.
In his opening remarks, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu said the green economy transition workshop was to bring to the fore its relevance considering the global impact of climate change with its attendant environmental degradation.
“The current development in the country is no longer sustainable environmentally; the gradual shrinking/drying up of Lake Chad Basin, increase in desert encroachment, loss of our ecosystems, reduced agricultural yields and the sorts, rising sea levels and flood in southern part of the country, marine erosion and landslides in the south eastern part of the country required that something had to be done very urgently, hence the need for green growth transition assessment of available capacity for successful transition in the country. This workshop with this inbuilt intent is quite apt and hopes to set the ball rolling for a better future,” he said.
The minister represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Mr Bitrus Nabasu gave the importance of the usage of science, technology and innovation as the viable instrument for economic diversification.
He said, “There is a high desire to preserve our environment but urbanization and industrialization have come in-between us. This is a fact we cannot shy away from, that government resources are limited for social services, therefore, this collaborative workshop is most welcome to help expand our intellectual capacities and frontiers, reinforcing what we already know and where we ought to be by knowing where appropriate technologies were deployed earlier.”
Earlier, Nabasu, represented by the ministry’s director of EST department, Peter Ekweozoh, expressed the hope that the transition, when fully understood and implemented, would help place the nation on proper perspective to mitigate and adapt to the scourge of climate change and re-enforce the place of STI as a veritable tool for the economic development of the country.
In his remarks, Prof. Chuks Okereke of the University of Reading, UK, said transition to green economy required the deployment of a range of essential technical, organizational and institutional capacities as well as the careful cultivation of a green innovation ecosystem, which was lacking in the continent, adding the workshop would enable Nigeria have a clear view of how to achieve the green economy transition.