The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has advocated coercive financing of environmental challenges in the Niger Delta.
The President of the council, Mr Jonathan Lokpobiri, made the call on Sunday, December 3, 2023, during a side event organised by the council at the ongoing COP28 in Dubai.
As players at the global scene, Lokpobiri said the council could not only be a complaint when the environment was bleeding, particularly.
This, he said, was more necessary when the people of the region were supposed to benefit from efforts of the government and cooperation across the world to finance the climate, especially for people who are suffering the worst kind of environmental hazard.
“So this is an opportunity for us to partner people that have the track records to develop our people in their skills development and then be able to develop economically so that people can become self-reliant.
“This is the effort we are doing and by God’s grace, we shall do everything to mobilise our people towards this and access these funds,” he said.
The president explained that the event was strategic as Nigerian representation did not capture the real essence of Niger Delta.
“If we do not come here to voice our stories, nobody will carry it. This is the reason we specifically mobilise ourselves, sponsored ourselves to be here so that the world can know our own story.
“When there are environmental challenges that people talk about, people know only about Ogoni.
“Meanwhile, Ogoni is just a fragment of the larger Niger Delta environment. If you go to other communities within the Niger Delta, Ogoni is just a tip of the iceberg. So our question is what is Nigeria doing with all these efforts to access global finance for climate change and other related activities?
“What’s meant for the Niger Delta? No coercive efforts by the government and players to address these issues and that is the reason we have carried our own stories to be here.
“As a community and an organisation, our duty is to mobilise ourselves, learn the rules and be able to play at the global and national scenes so that our people can also compete with the rest of the world,” he said.
By Usman Aliyu