The Federal Government of Nigeria on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Abuja said that poor financial support has been a major obstacle for effective implementation of the Great Green Wall (GGW) project across the continent.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Mr Hassan Musa, stated this at a meeting of the Technical Committee of Experts, 8th Ordinary Session of the GGW member countries‘ Council of Ministers.
The Great Green Wall is an African-led movement with an epic ambition to grow 8,000-km natural wonder of the world across the entire width of Africa.
The Permanent Secretary was represented by Mr Saghir el Mohammed, Press Director of the ministry.
Musa said the recognition of the paucity of financial resources for the implementation of the GGW had led to the several billions of dollars pledged by a coalition of Technical and Financial Partners (TFPs).
He said that the pledges were made at the 4th Edition of the “One Planet Summit” on Climate Change and Biodiversity held in Paris, France, in January, 2021.
According to him, financial provision and mobilisation have been a major obstacle to effective and impactful implementation process of the activities of the laudable GGW initiative.
“It will be a painful and futile exercise if initiatives conceived and documented on paper without a matching financial and articulated human resources provided to concretise these initiatives through impactful actions.
“Poor financial provision and mobilisation has been a major obstacle to the effective and impactful implementation process of the activities of the laudable GGW initiative in virtually all the participating member states.
“The need for mobilisation of financial resources to actualise the vision of the GGW is glaring,’’ he said.
The permanent secretary said that the pragmatic efforts of GGW member countries to access these financial resources pledged by the TFPs required necessary evaluation.
He said that the aim of the meeting was to evaluate the past programmes and project activities, as well as discuss further the plausible implementation process.
He said that the technical experts had been committed to ensuring that the goals and objectives of the GGW for the Sahara and Sahel initiative (GGWSSI) were achieved.
He said that one of the critical vehicles to realise the goal was financial resources, human ingenuity, adding that the method of remuneration could not be over-emphasised.
Musa urged the technical committee to do justice to the agenda by ensuring that the deliberation would be a fruitful one.
Dr Yusuf Bukar, Director-General, National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW), said that the meeting was to deliberate on critical items and issues bordering on the implementation activities of the GGW.
“Though the items on the agenda for deliberations are numerous, I am confident that the commitments from the side of the experts will definitely bring positive result that will enhance the implementation of the GGW project,’’ he said.
Mr Arona Soumare, representing the African Development Bank (AfDB), a financial partner, said that the GGW initiative was a big project that needed the support of financial partners globally.
“As financial partners, it is really our mandate to support the continent to address land degradation and other environmental challenges as part of the GGW objective.
“A lot has to be done, we have to mobilise for the funding, we have to work as partners to get the project implemented.
“As a bank, we need to increase our support as most of the partners should come together and jointly work on the implementation of the GGW,’’ he said.
By Vivian Emoni