The United Nations has commended the Niger State Government for its investment in the green economy.
The commendation came on Wednesday through UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed who lauded Governor Mohammed Bago for hosting the first-ever green economy summit in Nigeria.
The summit was held in Minna, the Niger State capital, on Tuesday
This is just as she reminded political leaders across the country not to forget that advanced nations are gradually dumping oil-driven economies in preference for greener energy.
The UN Deputy Secretary-General said Nigeria must set a shift and chart a new way forward that leaves no one behind by investing in the transition to clean energy from renewable sources.
Investment in the green economy, she stressed, would unlock latent potential and throw up employment opportunities in Niger State and the country at large.
“These challenges have no boundaries and have numerous cross-generational impacts. So as we examine opportunities to build green economic pathways, we need to keep in mind that most of the world’s natural resources are in Africa. And in Niger State, you are blessed with an abundance of mineral resources. Niger is uniquely positioned to be one of the first movers to engaging green growth and to become a leader by investing in energy.
“But these must include bold investments into the state’s strongest assets, which are its people. People are not just the key target of development; they are also the agents of its change.
“Dear friends, this would require leadership, commitment, and partnership to identify integrated solutions that respond to the complex issues. Allow me to focus on one area. Energy.
“The days of oil-driven energy growth are numbered. While our global progress on meeting the climate emergency is still too slow, the direction of travel is unambiguous. There is no long-term future for oil.
“Globally, we need to end our addiction to fossil fuels while building baseload and expanding access to reliable, clean, and affordable energy for everyone. In Nigeria, we face a situation where 36 per cent of households do not have access to the electricity grid and where we remain almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels for electricity generation.
“Nigeria must set a shift and chart a new way forward that leaves no one behind by investing in the transition to clean energy from renewable sources. Niger has the potential to be the trailblazer on this path. Investing in the green economy would unleash the next great wave of human and sustainable development, particularly for our youths,” she said.
According to her, a lot can be achieved in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals if sufficient investment is made in protecting the environment from unnecessary exploitation.
“Let’s continue this journey together to ensure that people, especially women and planets thrive, building a just, sustainable, and resilient world that leaves no one behind. Let us take that journey together,” she added.