As world leaders intensify efforts at deepening a global consensus on development options that can protect the environment and reverse the impact of climate change, promoter of Ketti Green Smart City, Mr. Moses Ayom, has backed President Muhammadu Buhari’s position at the 76th session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States of America.
Mr. Ayom, who is the chief executive officer of Hongye International Ltd, owners of Ketti District in Abuja, under the revived FCDA land swap programme, said his support for the president was informed by the huge gains derivable from building a climate resilient Nigerian economy.
Recall that the president had stated at the 2021 annual meeting of world leaders that “the impact of climate change is already manifesting in Nigeria in various ways: conflicts trigger; food insecurity, drying up of lakes; loss of livelihood, and youth migration, among others.”
Buhari told other world leaders that “Nigeria believes that protecting our planet and its biodiversity and climate are important to our collective survival” adding that the country was working on a transition to low carbon economy, consistent with achieving the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Mr Ayom lauded the president’s strong commitment to implementing policies that would build a climate-resilient Nigerian economy that aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and unlock the full growth opportunities in different sectors of the economy, while protecting the resources for present and future generations.
He explained that his company’s decision to develop Ketti District as a Green City aligns with president Buhari’s climate smart policy posture, adding that the city would contribute significantly to driving adoption of green building practices in the country.
“We are talking about a Green City that would sit over 300 hectares of land with a potential population density of close to 10,000 persons that climate-smart energy sources would power.
“The energy savings would be immense, and the carbon footprint/impact on the environment would be near zero. Ketti Green City would be a great addition to the efforts of the Nigerian government to meet its climate change targets.
“As the foremost and largest green city in Africa, it will serve as an example for other developers to start thinking green instead of building conventionally” Moses Ayom said.
He explained that his company has formalised a collaboration with the Federal Housing Authority to float a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) known as FHA-Ketti that would oversee the development of the Ketti Green City in Abuja.
He likened President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent decision to lift the suspension on the FCT land swap programme, which includes Ketti District, as symbolic of his commitment to sustainable development.
“This singular action has paved way for the FHA – Ketti District collaboration to champion green buildings in the FCT. Our goal is to use the expansive city to put Nigeria in the lead of countries with large green cities.
“Once completed, it will be the largest piece of green real estate that is designed and delivered sustainably in the world”.
According to Ayom, “I applaud President Buhari’s recognition and commitment to driving and implementing policies and measures that would enable Nigeria transition from a carbon intensive economy to one that is climate smart and sustainable.
“This is clearly the way to go given the increasing reality of the dangers of climate change, not only in distant places but right here in Nigeria and the problems that it is causing in the areas of insecurity and economy.
“By prioritising climate change and the drive to transition Nigeria to a carbon-neutral economy, the president has sent a strong signal to world leaders that it is committed to the ideals of the Paris Climate Agreement as stated in the National Policy on Climate Change.”
He maintained that Nigeria, which has the largest economy and population in Africa, is the 17th world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases that cause climate change.
Mr. Ayom cited the impact of climate change in Nigeria to include the sharp increases in extreme heat affecting the many millions of people without access to air conditioning or electricity and changes to precipitation that threaten Nigeria’s largely rain-fed agricultural sector.
Furthermore, Mr Ayom, described the recent United Nations report findings on climate change as a wake-up call for African property developers to adopt green building practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the continent’s-built environment.
“Nigeria as a signatory to the Paris Climate Agreement and has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2030, when compared to “business-as-usual” levels. Now, 2030 is less than ten years away, so it is crucial to not only sustain the momentum of measures but to up them. This means encouraging investors, like other countries are doing, to build climate-resilient infrastructure in key sectors of the national economy that are heavy emitters of greenhouse gases.