Environment Rights Agenda/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has called on the federal government to invest in education and skills development in the face of decline in oil and gas production.
The group also called on the National Assembly (NASS) to undertake an oversight visit to the sites of the ongoing clean-up exercise in Ogoniland.
Its executive director, Dr Godwin Uyi, made the call yesterday, in a keynote address he presented at the pre-conference and General Assembly of the group in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The event, with theme, “Transitional Justice and Nigeria Beyond Oil: Scorecard for Ogoniland Clean-Up,” was attended by civil society organisations (CSOs), community leaders and the media.
Ojo said investment in education and skills development was in consonance with a fossil free development pathway that would be important for driving Nigeria’s economic growth in the long term.
He said such investment could help in addressing issues of employability within a new development paradigm and shift the country’s working population from being environmentally damaging and less productive to more productive economic sectors with minimal environmental impact.
Ojo said, “We live in the fossil fuel age but in the scheme of human history, the fossil fuel age will be short-lived. We have already reached peak oil and more than halfway through the age of oil and gas. With imminent decline of oil and gas, the question becomes what are the alternatives?
“There is need for investment in education and skills development that is in consonance with a fossil free development pathway, important for driving Nigeria’s economic growth in the long-term.”