The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar,, has expressed the readiness of his Ministry to support the ongoing efforts led by the Resource and Environmental Policy Research Centre, Environment for Development (REPRC EfD) Nigeria, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, with the support of the World Bank to facilitate the development of Natural Capital Accounts (NCA) for Nigeria.
The Minister made the commitment in his conference room recently in Abuja when he received in audience a team of researches and experts in environment and natural resource management from the REPRC EfD-Nigeria. .
Natural Capital Accounting involves the physical and monetary valuation of stocks and flows of natural resources within a given area.
Dr. Abubakar said that the development of Natural Capital Account would help Nigeria to know how much it is losing or gaining by degrading or protecting natural resources in its environment.
“If Nigeria could properly account for its natural resources, it would attract investors to the country and help promote the conservation of our environment,” he said.
The Minister said that he would set up a technical team from the ministry to partner with the REPRC-EfD Nigeria to achieve the laudable objective of helping Nigeria to join the league of countries that have incorporated Natural Capital Account into their system of national accounting.
While stating his disposition to supporting anything that could promote Nigerian environment and livelihoods, Abubakar also promised to mobilise agencies and investors to finance the project which would help the country know the true worth of its natural resources.
Earlier in his presentation, the Director of REPRC-EfD Nigeria, Dr Nnaemeka Chukwuone, had informed the Minister that REPRC-EfD Nigeria, with the support of the World Bank, had commenced a project titled “Towards Natural Capital Accounts for Nigeria” that would prepare the ground for the full incorporation of Natural Capital Accounting into Nigeria’s national accounting system.
He said that the main objective of the project was to “prepare Nigeria towards becoming a Core Implementing Country for natural capital accounting in the Global Programme for Sustainability”.
The activities that would be carried out under the project, according to Dr. Chukwuone, include stakeholder engagement, designing of pilot accounts for greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, data collection and compilation for specific accounts with focus on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Account and Pollution Account (PM 2.5), production of pilot accounts for GHG emission and PM 2.5, presentation of pilot accounts and draft report to stakeholders, and investigating and recommending the institutional arrangements needed to advance natural capital accounting in Nigeria.
The REPRC-EfD Nigeria Director requested that the Ministry of Environment should play a leading role to ensure the full implementation of the NCA project in the country and also help in mobilising other relevant ministries and agencies to support the initiative.