The Nigerian Youths in Politics, an NGO, has urged governments at all levels to provide enabling environment for Nigeria to fully transit from traditional industry to green economy.
The National President of the organisation, Mr Blessing Oyefeso, made the call at the Nigeria Youths Stakeholders Conversation with the theme “Green economy roadmap: Policymaking as catalyst for youth employment” in Abuja.
The conversation was organised by the organisation in commemoration of the 2023 United Nations International Youth Day celebration with the theme “Green skills for youth”.
Oyefeso said that transiting to green economy would help the country to address the challenges of unemployment and dwelling revenue generation.
Oyefeso, who is also the Convener of the conversation, said that Nigeria economy lost over 12.5 million job opportunities and $250 billion worth investment opportunities for not yet transiting from traditional industry to green economy.
“In spite of the huge opportunities in the green economy to create jobs and develop Nigeria economy, the sector still remained untapped.
“We discovered that the green economy alone has the capacity to generate 12.5 million job opportunities that we have not being able to tap into.
“Also, we are losing over N250 billion investment opportunity of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) that green economy presents, just like to other developed nations that transited from traditional industry to green economy.
“As stakeholders, we are here to deliberate and come up with modalities for recommendation to the executive arms of government and legislators as well as critical policy makers towards tapping into the greener future for our shared prosperity,” he said.
Olafeso said that Nigeria could not continue to do things the same way and expect different results.
“To change some things, we must use a different model to achieve our greener future for all,” he said.
The Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment, Sen. Ned Nwoko, advocated for the establishment of recycling plants to promote clean environment and eradicate malaria in Nigeria.
Nwoko said malaria was one of the biggest problems of Africa, saying according to World Health Organisation (WHO), over 600,000 persons die annually in Africa from Malaria, a figure higher than those that died of COVID-19.
“I believe if we are able to have a cleaner environment, the cases of Malaria will not only be minimised, but eradicated,” Nwoko said.
He said that if a recycling plant was established in each of the 109 senatorial districts of the country, not less than 21,800 megawatts of electricity would also be generated to boost the country’s electricity supply.
“Currently, the power that we have is about 4,000 to 5,000 megawatts of electricity. If they adopt my formula, the issue of blackouts will be a thing of the past,” he said .
The lawmaker also called on African countries to harness its available natural resources to create jobs for the youth and for the development of the region.
The Executive Director, Re-Orientation Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria (RAN), Mr Charles Folayan, said there was need for youths to start working together and engage the policy makers on emancipation of the youth of the country.
Folayan said youths had been talking for more than two decades, it was now time for action.
He said that the young people of the country must start engaging the policymakers on issues that would be of benefit to them and the country.
Mr Dauda Gombe, the Executive Director, North East Youth Initiative for Development (NEYIF), said unless the youth rise up for themselves, nobody would do that for them.
“We have just finished election and the ministerial nominations have been made. What do we have to ensure transparency and and accountability?
“They said there is no job, but there are great opportunities in green economy.
“We have to work together to exploit this.”
Mr Shagari Dogo, President, Arewa Youth Council, said Nigerian youths were ready to change the narrative of the country by embracing green economy.
“The northern youths are involved and we are doing everything possible to ensure that the employment opportunities in the green economy is exploited,” Dogo said.
By Emmanuel Oloniruha