A new global ‘road map’ charted to provide leadership for local authorities to efficiently guide and manage climate change may have won another convert in Nigeria, with senior officials of Akwa Ibom government reaching out to foreign investors for its sustainable development projects.
The investors were invited in a sideline event at the just concluded Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) in Marrakesh, Morocco organized by the State to showcase its Strategic Roadmap to Sustainable Green Development.
Governor Udom Emmanuel used the forum to highlight the state’s five-point agenda, which is in line with Paris Climate Change Agreement and Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The agenda is target at job creation, poverty alleviation, economic and political inclusion, wealth creation, infrastructural consolidation and expansion.
He said that Akwa Ibom is interested in climate change issues as the largest producer of oil and gas as well as owner of the longest coastal line in Nigeria, about 129 kilometres that faces an avoidable climate risks. “We’re sacrificing our time and looking at the resources we have so that in future, we leave a legacy where our children will breath cleaner air that would nurture them to live in a world that is entirely earth friendly,” he said.
According to the governor, the state needs private sector led foreign direct investment and global environment fund to support its vision.
He said that projects has already kick- started include zero emission vehicle assembly plant, which will pioneer the commercial transportation system for the state and country; a Light-emitting diode (LED) energy bulbs manufacturing factory and a green cargo facility, where perishable goods can be moved out of the state.
The Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, commended Akwa Ibom State Government for its foresight and backing the NDCs. The minister, represented by Dr. Peter Tarfa, Director of the Climate Change Department, pledged the federal government’s support for the state’s Strategic Roadmap to Sustainable Green Development.
Earlier, the State’s immediate past Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources, Dr. Iniobong Essien, said that the roadmap assesses the green development opportunities and challenges in Akwa Ibom State, determines the optimal pathways to green development .
Dignitaries at the forum included, Secretary to the State Government, Etekamba Umoren, senior special Assistant to the Governor on Technical Matters and Due process, Ufot Ebong and President of Ecologistics Integrated Services Limited, Dr. Paul Abolo.