Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says Africa has the capacity of becoming the world’s first green civilisation as the journey for just energy transition gathers momentum.
Osinbajo made this on submission on Tuesday, April 4, 2023, at the Official Signing Ceremony for Definitive Agreement of Carbon Vista between the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and Vitol, a multinational energy firm.
The event was held at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja.
The agreement, which entails investing on projects like water purification projects, reforestation projects, clean cooking projects, among others, is worth $50 million.
The vice president said that multi-level collaborations are needed for Nigeria and Africa to achieve their climate change objectives and cautioned against climate neglect.
“I think one of the things that this tells us is that we are set for the sort of collaborations that are required among the public, private and of course the third sector, the civil society.
“The truth of the matter is that we are left with no choice today in the world and for many who are taking the developments in the whole climate change story, it is evident that everyday reminds that we get closer and closer to the point of no return.
“And that if we are not careful, we may find ourselves with the tragedy of immense proportions.
“Some have said that the death of the planet will come with neglect of the climate and neglect of what we are being told already.’’
Osinbajo said that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently issued a statement saying that if nothing is done, the world would approach the 1.50 degrees Celsius.
According to him, such point will be catastrophic well ahead of the 2030s if care is not taken.
He said that every responsible corporate citizen is already beginning to think of what to do and how to do it.
“While we talk about climate justice and saying that the transition must be a fair one; and saying that we still need fossil fuel for several purposes, we must also agree that there is a new way by which Africa and indeed, Nigeria, can benefit immensely from what is coming to us.
“In other words, Africa can become the first truly green civilization; the first civilization on earth to use renewable fuels for the purposes of a transformative economic journey.
“And how can we do that? Of course, we can do that because first of all, we are the lowest emitters today; and if we are going to develop our industry for the rest of the world, we can start from where are today, we do not have to start where the rest of the world is at the moment.
“If we are the least emitters, and we are able to use green energy effectively, we are able to use the young population that we have; we are able to effectively deploy green manufacturing on the scale that is required to become the global green factory of the world and global green power of the world, we can indeed, do something that is revolutionary and different,’’ he said.
The vice president said that the signing of the agreement between NSIA and Vitol is an important one, indicating that the pipeline of projects being discussed are such that would make Nigeria a truly green economy.
On his part, Aminu-Umar-Sadiq, Managing Director, NSIA, said that the agreement is a transformative fund, co-sponsored by NSIA and Vitol.
“The focus is on investing in Environmental, Social, and Governance propositions (ESG), projects like water purification projects, reforestation projects, and clean cooking projects.
“These are projects that essentially generate carbon credit that we can validate, register and subsequently monetize.
“I think this is a classic case of doing well and making money at the same time.
“At the inception as always, NSIA always likes to operate by undertaking demonstration projects and so in the first instance we are doing $50 million.
“However, the whole point of this is to invest in two or three prepositions and on that basis raise additional third-party capital.’’
Umar-Sadiq said that the potential of the project is limitless.
He said it is a demonstration of the ability to originate, invest, generate credit and monetize the credits.
Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and Mr Michael Curran, Head of Vitol Delegation, also spoke at the event.
By Chijioke Okoronkwo